The Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS) office is now a hub of activity in response to the directive from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, to publish the names of defaulters in national newspapers. The minister has also granted these defaulters a two-week grace period to settle their dues or face the possibility of having their property revoked,Daily Trust reports.
Our correspondent, who visited the AGIS office situated at 4 Peace Drive, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, observed an influx of individuals who owe ground rents. They are rushing to the office in an attempt to meet the ultimatum and prevent the impending revocation of their properties.
Isiaku Ndatsu Alfa, the Acting Director of AGIS, confirmed to reporters that there has been a significant surge in ground rent payments since the minister ordered the publication of the debtors’ names in national newspapers and issued the two-week ultimatum. Alfa noted that collections for ground rents were at their lowest between June and July. However, following the minister’s actions in August, ground rent revenue quickly escalated to N500 million and continued to grow steadily, surpassing N1 billion.
He remarked, “As of September 17, ground rents have generated nearly N2 billion for the FCT Administration, precisely N1.9 billion, and the figure is expected to double by the end of the month.”
To accommodate the increased flow of customers at AGIS, the director revealed that additional laptops and computer systems have been procured, and staff have been reassigned within sections to meet the minister’s two-week deadline.
Alfa also shared plans for the introduction of an online payment portal for ground rents, Certificates of Occupancy (CoO), and other transactions, making the process easier and potentially increasing revenue collection for AGIS. He mentioned that the online payment application had already been developed and was slated for an official launch by the FCT minister before the year’s end.
He elaborated, “That platform will give you the freedom wherever you are so that, in the comfort of your home, you can log in and provide necessary information, which will facilitate the payment of ground rent based on the area and specifications of your property. That is the way forward, and very soon, we can integrate that app with remita. This is the first time since the inception of the Federal Capital Territory that we have a leader who genuinely prioritizes Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”
When asked about the number of individuals who have already paid, Alfa mentioned that the figure was not constant but emphasized that the “Collection is about 300 percent of what we collected before now.”
Jibril Adamu Husseini, the Acting Director of Land Administration for the FCTA, commended the minister for his decision, stating that it is the only means to recover the outstanding N34 billion debt. He emphasized that the non-payment of ground rents constitutes a breach of terms and conditions governing property allocation.