By Francis Ogwo
The Government of Delta State has threatened that Section 5 of the Land Use Act would be used to revoke all the Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) of lands allocated for development purposes in core areas of urban centres in the state that have not been used in the past two years.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, sounded this warning while briefing the media in Asaba, on Monday.
According to Aniagwu, owners of such lands were expected to commence development within the next three months or be ready to lose them.
He observed that most of the plots of land allocated over 10 years ago had turned into a forest which serves as safe haven for criminals even as they have contributed immensely in defacing the beauty of the cities.
Aniagwu said government would not condole a situation where the owners of the lands would wait for many years without any sign of development as well as having the intention to resell them for greater gains.
“As a state, we are giving them only three months notice, anybody who was allocated a land with C of O issued by the government for more than two years, and has not commence the process of development, government will take advantage of the provision of Land Use Act and revoke the C of O and then make that land available to other persons who are ready to develop it.
“We will not look at faces in enforcing this policy. They have refused to develop the land thereby distorting our master plan. We want a transformed environment but we can’t continue to have bushes of undeveloped plots at the middle of our cities.
“The people applied for land from government and government graciously gave them. Rather than develop such plots, they have continued to nurse the land and breast feeding it, looking for when the price will appreciate for them to sell.
“We are interested in fast tracking our urban renewal drive. Some of the lands were allocated over ten years ago, and the only thing they do is to fence it and begin to nurture it for more dividends, that is not the reason it was allocated.
“We are convinced that with what we have put in in road development network, investors who are interested in taking advantage of available land to develop and bring about employment and thus curb crime,” he added.