By Michael Odiah
The Delta State Commissioner for Lands and Surveys, Mr. Chika Ossai has said that ground rent is a mandatory yearly payment in the state that must be adhered to, adding that people have reacted negatively to it because it had just been enforced unlike Lagos State where it is a norm and where failure to pay is noticed, it results to closure of one’s property.
Ossai who said this during the presentation of its Ministry’s achievements in the past year at the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing, noted that in the past two years, the ministry has been having running battles with the local governments in the area of approval of lands which is originally the responsibility of the Town Planning arm of the ministry.
He disclosed that, the local government councils having found themselves in a financial drought, moved to generate funds for themselves and in extension encroached into areas originally under the ministry’s jurisdiction, adding that in the quest to avert future occurrences, the ministry is working out a way to appropriate a percentage of generated funds from approval of lands to the local government, stressing that the local government does not even have the work force to perform such duties, “they are quacks”, he scorned.
Speaking further, the commissioner debunked the spate of comments that FastTrack90 is not functional cum timely, stating that FastTrack90 is fully operational till date and timely but has been faced with some challenges where by clients who pay in installments fail to come back and complete their payments for collection of their C of O, stressing that the ministry even went as far as publishing on national dailies to inform people to pay up and come for collection of their documents, adding that data capturing has also been a challenge as clients either presented falsified data, incomplete data or incorrect data.
Ossai also said that the ministry is taking concrete measures to resolve the land dispute between NUJ and Anioma Petroleum, informing that a resolution has been reached and that Anioma has agreed to pull out of court, but acquiring another land for Anioma to that effect has been tasking, because “one is to get a Land and another one is for him to accept he land” he added.