By INNEH BARTH, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has issued an executive order directing owners of land with Certificate of Occupancy CoO, for purpose of development to develop such land within the next three months or the land is revoked.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, who announced the end during a press briefing in Asaba yesterday, disclosed that the state government would no longer allow any individual to hinder the urban renewal agenda of the state government.
The Information Commissioner, disclosed that the decision became imperative following an ongoing enumeration exercise on lands and landed properties carried out by the government where it was discovered that some persons have turned themselves to “Land Bankers”, awaiting it to be overvalued before selling it thereby making profits to the detriment of the city and its dwellers.
“As part of our efforts to transform our Urban centres, we commenced enumeration of lands and landed properties across the state and in the course of that exercise, we have discovered that there are individuals who have turned themselves into land bankers.
“Government gave them lands and C of Os and by the rules within two years, you are expected to have developed your land and property but we have discovered that these land bankers are hindering our ability to fast track the process of development of our urban centres.
“And instead of developing the lands that was given to them either by way of privilege, they have decided to continue to speculate and then keep these lands such that even in the city centres, you will see a very thick bush”, stressing that such lands have C of Os stretching over six years.
Dishing out the Executive Order, Aniagwu said: “As a government as from today, we are giving them only three months notice. Anybody who has such a land with the C of O of more than two years. Anybody who have been allocated a parcel of land by the government and has the C of O beyond two years and has not commenced the process of development on that land, three months from now the governor will take advantage of the extent law as provided for in section 5 of the Land Use Act”.
He stressed that the C of O of such lands would be revoked and the government would make the land available to other persons who could easily develop them.
He added that government will even use such land for other things that will serve the general public. “We are not looking at faces and we will not look at faces to enforce this laws.”