Senate to recover N6 trillion unpaid ground rent from property owners

The Senate has set up an ad hoc committee to recover over N6 trillion unpaid ground rent from property owners in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Sen. Yusuf Yusuf (APC-Taraba) during the plenary on Wednesday.

Moving the motion, Mr Yusuf said the land use act vested ownership rights on the federal government over its land in states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He said the rights included the power to control and regulate town planning and physical development concerning such lands and, by extension, prescribing and collecting any tax, fees or rates.

The lawmaker lamented that since 1992, over two million houses across the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT, had been built and allocated to beneficiaries by the federal government.

He added that yet the majority have no evidence of payment of the ground rate on their property.

The lawmaker said with the current revenue challenges facing the country, there was a need for the government to look into other means of generating income.

He said an investigation revealed that the failure of relevant authorities to recover these funds had led the country to lose over N6 trillion.

Sen. Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi) and Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi (PDP-Kebbi) supported the motion.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan listed the committee members as Adamu Aliero (PDP-Kebbi ), Sani Musa (APC-Niger) and Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi).

Others were Smart Adeyemi (APC- Kogi), Opeyemi Bamidele (APC- Ekiti), Betty Apiafi (PDP-Rivers)and Mr Yusuf.

Mr Lawan gave the committee four weeks to report back to plenary.


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