‘Something will happen’ – Wike warns defaulters of ground rent in FCT
FCT Minister Nyesom Wike
Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun
By Philip Yatai
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday warned that his threat to revoke the Rights of Occupancy of defaulters of ground rent in the capital city after the deadline given to them to fulfil their obligations should not be taken as an empty threat.
Wike, said contrary to insinuations in some quarters, “something will surely happen” at the expiration of the deadline issued by the FCT Administration in September for individuals, organisations, and agencies owing ground rent who refused to pay up.
The Minister spoke when he hosted the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by its President, Dr Chris Isiguzo who visited him in Abuja.
The FCTA had in a recent publication asked allottees of lands within Abuja to fulfil their obligations as stipulated in the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) by paying their ground rents in advance without demand from Jan. 1 of each year.
The FCTA had warned that a breach or failure to comply with any or all of the terms stated in the Rights of Occupancy shall be liable to the revocation of the title.
The administration, therefore, advised all allottees, property owners, and beneficiaries of the sale of Federal Government Houses in the FCT to settle their outstanding ground rents or lose their titles.
The Minister told the NUJ leadership that he is determined to match his words with action by revoking plots of defaulters at the end of the deadline given by the FCTA.
“The law has been there before I came. The only problem is applying the law. The Minister of State and I have the capacity and political will to do what is right.
“You know Nigerians are funny, believing that nothing will happen. Something will happen. We can’t continue that way; we can’t.
“We have given defaulters a final notice to go and pay and they said it is initial “garagara” (false bravery). Something will happen.
“By the time we give the final notice, and you don’t pay, the law will be applied,” he said.
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He added that the FCTA was able to save significant Internally Generated Revenue since the removal of the Administration from the Treasury Single Account, adding that the era of abandoned projects in the FCT was over.
He explained that some of the hash decisions being taken by the FCTA were for the good of all in the long run, adding that the government would step on toes in the efforts to right the wrongs in the FCT.
The minister pledged continued support to the media as critical partners in the development space.
Earlier, Isiguzo commended Wike for his transformational potential as exemplified in Rivers State when he was the governor.
He also commended the minister for his media-friendly disposition and pledged the NUJ’s support through free and responsible journalism.
He appealed to the minister to support the union’s capacity-building programme, and its forthcoming National Media Conference, and provide a plot of land for the construction of a Media Village in Abuja.
The procedure for the payment of the ground rent is e-payment through the REMITA portal to generate a REMITA Retrieval Reference (RRR).
Affected persons are expected to log onto the REMITA portal https://remita.net and click on “Pay TSA & States, then select Federal Capital Territory Administration.
After that, select Abuja, Geographic Information Systems and choose the revenue head to be paid which in this case is FCC Ground Rent.
Fill in the required information, submit, and print the RRR slip, after which payment can be made in any commercial bank.