Ground rent: Wike gives final warning to defaulters, says “something will happen”

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By Philip Yatai

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, gave final warning to defaulters of ground rent payment in the FCT, insisting that something would happen.

Wike gave the warning when the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by its President, Dr Chris Isiguzo visited him in Abuja.

The minister said that “something will surely happen” contrary to the erroneous assumption that the ground rent directive was an empty threat.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the FCT Administration in September published land titles of individuals, organisations, and agencies owing ground rent.

In the publication, the FCTA reminded allottees of lands within FCT of their obligations as stipulated in the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to pay in advance without demand from Jan. 1 of each year.

The FCTA had warned that a breach or failure to comply with any or all of the terms stated in the Rights of Occupancy shall be liable to the revocation of the title.

The administration, therefore, advised all allottees, property owners, and beneficiaries of the sale of Federal Government Houses in the FCT to settle their outstanding ground rents or lose their titles.

Wike assured the defaulters that he would match his words with action at the end of the grace period by revoking such plots.

“The law has been there before I came. The only problem is applying the law. The Minister of State and I have the capacity and political will to do what is right.

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“You know Nigerians are funny, believing that nothing will happen. Something will happen. We can’t continue that way; we can’t.

“We have given defaulters a final notice to go and pay and they said it is initial “garagara” (false bravery). Something will happen.

“By the time we give the final notice, and you don’t pay, the law will be applied,” he said.

He added that FCTA was able to save significant Internally Generated Revenue since the removal of the Administration from the Treasury Single Account, adding that the era of abandoned projects in the FCT was over.

He explained that some of the hash decisions being taken by the FCTA was for the good of all in the long run, adding that the government would step on toes in the efforts to right the wrongs in the FCT.

The minister pledged continued support to the media as critical partners in the development space.

Earlier, Isiguzo commended Wike for his transformational potentials as exemplified in Rivers State when he was the governor.

He also commended the minister for his media-friendly disposition and pledged the NUJ’s support through free and responsible journalism.

He appealed to the minister to support the union’s capacity building programme, its forthcoming National Media Conference, and provide a plot of land for the construction of a Media Village in Abuja.

NAN reports that the procedure for the payment of the ground rent is e-payment through the REMITA portal to generate a REMITA Retrieval Reference (RRR).

Affected persons are expected to log onto the REMITA portal and click on “Pay TSA & States, then select Federal Capital Territory Administration.

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After that, select Abuja, Geographic Information Systems and choose the revenue head to be paid which in this case is FCC Ground Rent.

Fill the required information, submit, and print the RRR slip, after which payment can be made in any commercial bank. (NAN)

Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja

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