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Lagos moves to tackle land speculation

The Lagos State government is set to tackle cases of land speculation in the state, whereby people buy land without developing them over a period of time in anticipation of appreciation in value, with the threat of revocation of such lands.

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa, said it has been discovered that many allotees only secure government land for purely speculative objectives as their interests run counter to government’s goals, adding that as a way of curbing the practice, revocation of land by the state government has now become routine.

Ashafa asserted that government allocates land to members of the public and issues Certificate of  Occupancy with terms and condition, noting that holding on to the land without developing it, deprives several other people who are willing and ready to develop it.

“Some even hold onto land for more than 20 years without developing them. Consequently, government revenue is affected by non-development of such allocated plots of land. Owners of such vacant plots do not pay ground rent.

Local governments too are deprived of tenement rates and later land use charge,” he said. He cited the case of Magodo Scheme 1 where people held on to their undeveloped land for speculative purposes, some for up 20 years before government’s threat of revocation last year.

“The undeveloped plots of land usually serve as hideouts and unsightly scenes for hoodlums and criminals to perpetrate their nefarious activities. The multiplier effect of the revocation is creation of employment by contractors handling jobs on behalf of the allotees.

The state government will announce a fresh list of affected plots in the scheme soon.
“Government has, therefore, decided to enforce the terms and conditions as enshrined in the Certificate Of Occupancy and letters of allocation, especially where accessibility had been made possible through minimum infrastructure provision,” he remarked.


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