BY: Nick Nwaneri Calabar
The Cross River State Commissioner for Lands, Prof. John Inyang, has assured investors and other stakeholders wishing to acquire a plot of land that henceforth the issuance of Certificate Of Occupancy shall not be a problem.
This is so because the state government has concluded plans to digitalis the process of issuing certificate of occupancy to those who intend to purchase land for private or business intentions.
He disclosed this while speaking at the monthly ministerial briefing at the headquarters of the Ministry of Information and Orientation, Calabar.
Inyang said, “the issue of C of O is truly the source of revenue for the state as you noted. Infect, in 2015, we met alot of challenges on ground relating to the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy”.
The governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade is a man who is very critical and reflects deeply before he takes a decision, especially as it concerns the economy of the state.
He ordered the review of all the transactions and procedures that will enable us address the issue of C of O. We carried a lot of investigation which actually delayed the issuance of many C of O.
“As I speak, we have gone into re-branding our C of O, 2017, we have a new set of C of Os and since then the governor himself had decided to approve both consents of C of Os that have been certified or verified to have met all the requirements, “.
According to him, “being the source of revenue, we have lost revenue over time, but as I speak we are signing C of Os, we have prepared grounds to sign more”.
He stated that in the next one or two weeks, such powers will be delegated to the appropriate Ministry. Already the ones he had signed are released. As a way of fast tracking this process, I want to say that we are re-branding our Cross River State geographic Information System which of is in synergy with us. We intend to make sure that we our clients get their consents and C of Os signed quickly. “
Presently the Ministry is doing an enumeration of property in the state hence the reason to re-brand the (GIS) making it technologically and digitally within two weeks. If you want land, with the synergy we are having it will of course take you less than a week to both land and the C if O”
He said ” we want a situation where you can be in Lagos or US, just with your laptop, you press the bottom, you are able to get GIS and the Ministry of Lands Online, you press search, the available plots of land will appear. If you indicate interest, it will pop up and price will show etc”.
Interestingly too, “the governor can be in UK or US and get all the C of Os signed online. It is only the governor that can sign the C of O, he added”.
This is so, because the governor has decided to digitalise the land transactions system and the land administration system. We will soon beat Lagos State. We will soon get there.,he added.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Sustainable Development Goals, Mr. Oliver Orok, said his Ministry is that of intervention even when I go out to source for funds, through grants or counterpart funding..
“In terms of the N500 million, pressently in our project account, it is a counterpart funding, which Federal government gave N250 million and State supported with!N250 millions, he said”.
This is meant for projects in thematic areas of health, education, environment, water and sanitation by communities in the 18 local government areas of the state.
The governor had charged all commissioners to be the Chief executives of their ministries, MDAs and to ensure that they succeed. Therefore, it behoves on us to source for funds and means to actualise this..
The 24 water power solar boreholes provided to some communities came through counterpart funding with the Federal government, totalling N1. 2 milion , Orok noted.
He said that his agency also partner with some donor agencies such as UNICEF, , United Nation and other International bodies. In all, you have to go out to source for funds.
He called communities wishing to be visited with any of the thematic areas to communicate through their desk officers in the 18 local government stating their areas of need and certainly with availability of funds, such requests shall be met.
These water projects were sited in Bekwarra 2, Calabar South 3, Eteng 1, Ikom 2, Obubra 2, Obudu 6, Obanliku 3, Ogoja 2 Odukpani 1, Yala 3 totalling to 24. This is only on request
Earlier, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Comrade Asu Okang,, had thrown more light on the need for the people to know what givernment is doing or about doing for it’s citizenry, hence this monthly ministerial briefing.
He said “when we took over on the 24th of December 2019,, one of the critical elements that we thought that we are going to bring to fore was that we are going to deymistify the information sector in Cross River State. Creating a new information order that will open up the windows and doors of opportunities to engage the citizenry to ensure that there is an understanding between the led and the govenment.
“Government has been seen over time not to be completely close but some how there is no much interaction with the people, he said”
He said therefore that most often, the genuine intention of government are often misconstrued. There has been a misconception. Why not we just undertake a joroject called a Highway, why superhighway or have a seaport and not Deep Sea port”.
Okang went on to explain why the need for this flow of information between the government and the people and assured that it has come to stay. The doors of communications is now open through the Ministry of Information and Orientation.
The event was graced by the representatives of Market women association, Igbo Community, Hausa community and the Yoruba community as well as media organisations.