By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT— CERTIFICATES of Occupancy, CofOs, will now be ready in Rivers State within 45 days, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, has said.
The Governor gave the assurance during the launch of the state’s Geographic Information System, RIVGIS, in Port Harcourt.
He said the state will pay fine for any delay in the issuance of C of Os. To ensure proper coordination, the Governor said, an executive bill will be sent to the House of Assembly for a law to regulate the procedure of securing land titles in the state.
Governor Amaechi, said the bill when passed into law will stipulate penalties for deliberate delay in the procedure, and punishment for negligence on the part of both government officials and the land owners, should they cause delay in the procedure.
The Governor, said the law will guide the process of land and property administration in the state such that violators would be sanctioned accordingly, noting that it was the only way to sustain the exercise, and show that government was serious in the Land Reform Act.
He directed the Ministry of Land and Survey to organise another stakeholders meeting where professionals in the properties sector would be expected to come out with ways of ensuring proper sustainability of the RIVGIS procedure.
The Governor, said that following the successful establishment of the RIVGIS, the state government was now ready to sign all outstanding Certificates of Occupancy, while new ones would be endorsed within a short period of time, after possible completion of the procedures, emphasising that the land reform promised the Rivers people at the onset of the present administration has now been realized.
He indicated that the state must be governed under the Rule of Law, and thanked all those who had contributed in different ways to ensure that the programme was realized.
The chairman of the occasion and the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diete_Spiff described the project as one of the dividends of democracy, and lauded the state governent for taking the bold step and called on the people to patronize the system.