The Senate has set up an ad hoc committee to probe and recover over N6 trillion accruals from non-payment of ground rent from property owners across the country.
The Senate resolution followed its consideration of a motion, titled: “Need to recover over N6 trillion ground rent due to the Federal Government that is laying fallow in the hands of a few individuals in Nigeria,” sponsored by Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC Taraba Central).
The senator said he brought the motion under Orders 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Rules.
He said the Land Use Act has vested ownership rights to the Federal Government over its land in states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Yusuf said the rights include the powers to control and regulate town planning and physical development in relation to such lands and, by extension, prescribing and collection of any tax, fees or rates.
The lawmaker recalled that since 1992, over 2 million houses across the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT, had been built and allocated to beneficiaries by the Federal Government.
But he said majority had no evidence of payment of ground rent on their properties.
Yusuf added that with the current revenue challenges facing the country, there is a need for the government to look into other means of generating income than relying on oil revenue.
The lawmaker said investigation revealed that the failure of relevant authorities to recover these funds had led the country to losing over N6 trillion.
In their contributions to the motion, senators urged the Federal Government to come up with a computerised system of all allotted land and properties and persons yet to pay and fashion out mode of recovering the funds.
In its resolution, the Senate constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate the inability of Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to probe and recover the incomes for the government.
The Red Chamber also directed the ad hoc committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the inability of the Land Use Act Allocation Committee, saddled with the responsible of handing rent and licence matter, to carry out its responsibility on the matter.
It also called for a comprehensive data on Federal Government’s properties that were sold to the public under the Ministry of Works and Housing across the country.
The ad hoc committee constituted by the Senate has Adamu Aliero (Chairman), Sani Musa, Sam Egwu, Smart Adeyemi, Opeyemi Bamidele, Betty Apiafi, and Yusuf Abubarkar Yusuf, as members.
The committee was given one month to report back to plenary.
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