By; BALA BITRUS, Minna
Lands and landed property owners from across Niger State without titles are benefiting from a window period of six months from 1st January to June 30th to obtain valid titles for their properties under a land titles bonanza offered by the state government.
Under the programme, the state government has offered a rock bottom fee reduction for land titles from #250,000 per title deed for urban areas to #15.000 while the title deed processing fees for landed properties in rural areas is slashed to #5,000 only.
The state government said the six months bonanza is to add value to the lives of citizens who have been hamstrung by bottleneck procedures in obtaining land title deeds for their properties.
The government said the decision to lower the hurdles, though temporally, was to ameliorate the sufferings and economy hardship compounded by low purchasing power of citizens especially those who have properties but have not been able to obtain such valid titles for them.
Director General of the state’s Geographical Information System, (NGIS), Dr. Abdul Hussaini said the land title bonanza which offers huge fee reduction, was meant to encourage property owners to cash in on the offer to get official title deeds which is a big collateral to obtain credit facilities from money deposit banks and it serves several other purposes in transactions and security.
He noted that now with as little as =N=5,000, a landed property owner can now obtain his Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).
Dr. Hussaini enjoined property owners in the state who were yet to formalise their title ownerships to leverage on the window of opportunity flung open by the state government within the bonanza period to get their title deeds certified.
While stressing the importance of obtaining a C of O for a landed property, Dr. Hussaini said it is a huge asset, a big collateral and a piece of worthy security certificate whose benefits are immeasurable.
The Director General, Niger State Geographic Information System (NIGIS), explained that the state government was not allocating or selling lands by any proxy via the bonanza as was being mischievously misconstrued.
He said the exercise was to flung open the door to allow as many citizens to get title deeds for their properties under a special programme tagged land title bonanza.
He said the six months duration of the bonanza has already brought lots of relief to citizens across the state adding that there were now more proud owners of C of Os for properties in the state.
“The policy has also brought about great improvements on the lives and socio-economic wellbeing of citizens particularly property owners” he said.
“We at the NGIS now have a robust database of property owners across the state. We have simplified access to land titles and made regional and town planning less cumbersome” he said.
According to him beside the benefits to landed property title owners, the exercise will also enhance promotion of security of lives and properties of citizens. “Securing our state can be guaranteed by knowing who is where and doing what”.
“In this exercise, what the state government tried to do is to take responsibility in providing the necessary technical information, such as Survey and Town planning report required for processing all land papers”.