By Bode Olushegun
Borno State Government has lamented that between 75 and 80 percent of landed property in the state capital, Maiduguri, are without title documents (Certificate of Occupancy).
Addressing a press conference on Monday, in Maiduguri, the Chairman of Borno State Geographic Information Service (BOGIS), Alhaji Bashir Shettima, said the state government was worried that most perceived land owners did not have the prerequisite documents to show for their ownership.
Shettima, who said the government had given them up to the end of this month (September) to regularise their documents, warned that stringent steps might be taken to ensure that every land owner had a title document to their property.
He decried that despite the three-month notice issued to property owners in the state to put the land documents in order, a vast majority of them have not come forward to register their landed property.
He lamented that: “They are just relying on the customary ownership; while we are not quarreling about that, it is in their own interest to document the customary title so that they will have a superior title.”
Shettima said the state was also saddened by the number of undeveloped land, stressing that some of these plots of land were acquired over 40 years ago from either Northern region or Northeast state government.
He said unfortunately the parcel of land belonged to some highly-placed individuals in the state, who had not been paying ground rents of the property.
He said accumulated ground rents of such properties were massive, and appealed to the owners of such undeveloped plots of land to develop them and pay their ground rents to avert government sanctions.