N29bn Ground Rent Debt: Defaulters may forfeit property

By Chimezie Godfrey

As the Coordinating Committee on the Recovery of Outstanding Ground Rents of N29, 506,643,943.98 owed the FCT Administration commences work, property owners who have failed to pay risk prosecution, revocation, or outright forfeiture.

The FCT Administration decided to set up this Coordinating Committee because after several appeals and notices served the affected property owners, yet they remain adamant.

It may be recalled that the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adesola Olusade recently inaugurated a debt recovery committee with the mandate to recover the outstanding debts owed the FCT Administration with particular interest in ground rents and other sundry fees in the Land Administration as well as other Land related departments.

The Director, Information & Communication, FCT/Chairman, Media & Publicity Sub-Committee, Muhammad Hazat Sule made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

Hazat noted that, the Committee is expected to formally start communicating to the affected persons and corporate bodies as from Friday, July 1, 2022, after which those who failed to comply by paying their outstanding debt would be prosecuted.

“The Administration is forced to adopt these measures due to the non-compliant by the affected individuals and corporate organizations.

“Government, therefore, wish that the affected debtors will come forward and clear their outstanding debts to avoid prosecution, revocation, and forfeiture of their property.

“The Recovery Committee has already swung into action and perfected modalities towards achieving this onerous task, because the government needs resources to execute essential infrastructural projects in the Federal Capital Territory.

“The Committee, which has since been meeting to fine tune strategies for the task ahead, also warned debtors of dire consequences should they allow the committee to fully execute its mandate, if they refused to pay the outstanding land fees,” he stated.

Hazat further assured that the committee will rigorously carry out its mandate to the latter, because ‘no stone will be left unturned’, in carrying out the assignment.