The Rivers State government has commenced the computerisation of land registry in the state as well as the implementation of the cadastral information system, with a view to ensuring reliable and quick accessibility to land register and cadastral information.
The system enables property owners to obtain Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) with embedded security code and new property cards that would have the photograph of the owner, full measurement of the land, and in the case of a developed land, photograph of the building.
Press Officer, Ministry of Land and Survey, Priscilla Okere, revealed that over 50,000 parcels of the land and 56,000 property records have been computerised and implemented under the Rivers State Geographic Information System (RIVGIS).
Okere remarked that the exercise would enable preparation, maintenance and preservation of spatial and non_spatial data relating to ownership of properties in Port Harcourt and the other 22 local government areas in the state, and assured that prospective buyers of property such as land can be sure of the genuineness of the property offered for sale, as all encumbrances would be systematically recorded.
â€œThis will promote trust in transactions and security of property title and will improve investment opportunities for the citizens. The project will create a comprehensive database of all properties in the respective cities in Rivers State,â€ she said.
Okeke noted that one of the benefits of the procedure is that it will serve as collateral to owners and land agents, who want to obtain credit facilities from the commercial banks.
It will also guarantee certainty of ownership, security of data, reduction in land disputes, improved conveyance, and facilitating implementation of land reform programme and gives better management of land, which according to her, will ensure transparency in land market, thereby preventing impersonation and transfer of land documents without consent of rightful ownership.
In addition, Okeke remarked that the registration would help the state government to generate more revenue through efficient collection of statutory fees and levies, and thus contribute to the development of the state.
â€œThe introduction of the geographic information system would be of great use to the Rivers people because, it will facilitate individual land ownership transaction thereby reducing fraudulent acts and disputes accruable to land business,â€ she stated.