FCT Minister Mohammed Bello
Fct Minister Mohammed Bello

FCT Confirms 11,263 Certificate of Occupancy Ready for Collection

The attention of the FCT Administration has been drawn to a publication in Daily Trust of Monday 14th October 2019 edition, page 44, titled “Land Title Hitches Delay Property Investments in Abuja”, blaming the authority of most estates, properties without C-of-O; in addition, alleged that the Hon. Minister has not signed up to 500 Certificates of Occupancy (C-of-O) since 2015.

These blame games and allegations are frivolous and most unfortunate, because they are far from being true. The FCT Administration has the duty to allocate land in the entire 8,000 square kilometers of the Federal Capital Territory and control development therein, which no doubt has been carried out judiciously. There is no city in the West African sub-region that can equal Abuja’s quality development with its aesthetic beauty. The investment on property in the Federal Capital Territory has remained attractive globally because of the painstaking way the authority has packaged the processes. Although there are challenges, but it has been able to surmount them.

To put the records straight, it is imperative to know that Estate Developers are usually given allocation of land with a letter of intent to build houses for sale to would be beneficiaries. The Developers are expected not to sell plots of land but completed houses with secondary and tertiary infrastructure like road network, electricity and water supply within their respective estates; while the FCT Administration provides the primary infrastructure.

The Estate Developers with genuine titles are under Terms and Condition with the FCT Administration, part of which at the end of development and sales, are expected to submit the names of all the beneficiaries / buyers of their houses to the FCT Administration for subsequent issuance of individual titles as well as Certificates of Occupancy. To date, majority of these Estate Developers have not come up with the list (s) of buyers of their houses; and Cs of O are not meant for the Developers but the buyers (beneficiaries) of these houses. Although the list must be provided by the developers to enable the FCT Administration process the titles and Certificates.

For the purposes of records, the FCT Administration currently has 11,263 Certificates of Occupancy in the vaults of Land Administration that have remained uncollected by their bona fide owners. Some of these Certificates have spent over 10 years in our vaults. These are documents expected to be in possession of their owners to lubricates the economy with multiplier effects on the lives of the citizenry.

It was alleged in the publication that the FCT Minister has not signed up to 500 Certificates of Occupancy since 2015 which is very untrue because the Minister signed 2,493 Certificates of Occupancy from May 2015 to May 2019. The breakdown of some of the Certificates signed by the current FCT Administration include Agriculture – 5; Commercial – 131; Industrial – 36; Mixed Use – 45; Open Space /Green Area – 3; Public Institution – 59; and Residential 2,214 totaling 2,493. Meanwhile, as the Minister was re-appointed the first and second batches of Certificates of Occupancy has already been processed, while other batches are undergoing vetting, production and further processes with high level of due diligent.

It is equally important to note that the processing and issuance of Certificates of Occupancy is strictly guided by statutory provisions and Land Administration policies of the FCT.

The FCT Administration has moved a step further to call on the owners of Certificates of Occupancy abandoned in our vaults through a paid advertisement in The Nation (Pages 27-31) and Leadership (Pages 11-15) Newspapers respectively of Tuesday 15th October 2019~ to please come forward to collect them forthwith.

M.H. SULE
Deputy Director, Information & Customer Service