Delta state has commenced the issuance of certificates of occupancy, C of O, to certified land owners in the state, under the FastTrack Delta electronically generated Certificates scheme, even as the state government has assured property owners in the Okpanam axis of the state capital Area, that it has no plans to embark on a demolition of marked buildings in Okpanam community, as has been widely speculated in some sections of the media, but has instead concluded plans to set up a land reconciliation committee to address the Okpanam situation effectively and satisfactorily.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony to officially kick-start the authorized handing over of C/O’s to the first batch of successful FastTrack Delta applicants, the Delta State Commissioner for Lands, Chief Dan Okenyi, hailed the consultants to the project, Queensbridge Capital Investment Limited for ensuring that the vision of the Delta state government to upgrade and accelerate the process of issuing certificates of occupancy to real land owners in the state, had finally been realized.
Chief Okenyi, who lauded the successful beneficiaries for keying into the programme, advised all land owners in the state to quickly embrace the FastTack Delta certification exercise and while urging those with old C/Os to migrate to the new electronically generated document, warned that all existing C/Os which have not been captured in the FastTrack database within the next 90days, would automatically become null and void once the 90 days window has elapsed.
“The owners of the old C of O in the state have 90 days to migrate and after the period, government will take it that they have no C of O,” he said.
He further noted that the programme, which was launched on March 31, 2016 has completed the stipulated 90 days, which guaranteed the issuance of the C of O at the payment of N200, 000 within 90 days of the application and while congratulating the first batch of beneficiaries for taking the advantage of the discount, which was about 53% from the earlier N425, 000, to secure the certificate, added that new applicants would now have to pay N225, 000 in the next 90 days to obtain the certificate.
Affirming that the Delta State government has concluded plans to set up a land reconciliation committee to address the sensitive issue of land transactions in Okpanam community of Delta state and ensure that people have valid titles to their lands, the Delta State Commissioner for Lands, assured landlords and landed property owners who have set up structures in the area, that their buildings will not be demolished and the state government was poised to ensure that all contentious transactions in the community would be addressed and resolved satisfactorily with the setting up of the land reconciliation committee.
Okenyi, who equally informed Deltans that things are changing in the Ministry of Lands, which according to him is witnessing a positive transformation in its operations, hinted that builders can now get a certified building plan for their buildings within 24 hours, once the necessary fees have been paid, as the process has now been fine tuned and the procedure accelerated to save time and also ensure that buildings meet proper standards and specifications.
He said that about 2,000 applications were being processed, adding that about 150 certificates were ready for collection and assured that the issuance of the certificate would be done on weekly basis every Friday and the names of the beneficiaries would be published as soon as their certificates were ready.
Also in his own comments, the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, hailed the vision of the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration, which deemed it proper to set up the FastTrack Delta, initiative as a way of addressing and removing the conflicts and contentious activities associated with land acquisition in the state over the years.
Ukah, who expressed special gratitude to Governor Okowa for setting up the Okpanam land reconciliation committee, noted that there were several issues to be addressed including administrative and other matters, even as he emphasized that the Okpanam community would be carried along in all deliberations and consultations.
He then thanked all those who contributed to ensuring that the FastTrack Delta Programmee was successful, especially the media and while assuring Deltans that the initiative was not set up to witch-hunt anybody, said that the system, which was verifiable online, has not only brought sanity to the issue of land transaction, but will remove all ambiguities over who actually owns any land in the state.
“If you reside in Delta and you still have ambiguity about ownership of your land, you have yourself to blame. This land document is verifiable on line, so, you can verify the authenticity of your land from anywhere in the World. So, people should know that this is done to bring sanity into our land and all related issues and I think we should cooperate with the ministry and regularize our documents,” Ukah said.
Others who spoke at the ceremony included Mr. Iku Chuks, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Queensbridge capital investment limited, who gave an overview of the FastTrack90 Project in the last one year and Mrs. E bitonmo, Director of Lands in the Delta state Ministry of Lands and Housing, who welcomed the recipients and other dignitaries to the event.
Highpoint of the occasion, which was witnessed by the Queensbridge delegation comprising, Tony Egboko, Obayemi Oladapo. Blessing Osaje and Uche Ozonuwa, was the issuance of Ceretificates to the first batch of FastTrack Delta beneficiaries, which included Mr. Nnamdi Harris, a transporter from Anambra state but resident in Delta, Chief Frank Nwugo, former member of the Delta state Board of Internal Revenue, DBIR and Mr. Okolo Gilbert, a young businessman and the proprietor of the very popular relaxation spot called Naira and Kobo off the Post-Office junction in Okpanam town, amongst others.