Oyo Targeted as State Reduce Land Charges
The present administration recognises the absence of a master plan over the years and this has slowed down the pace of development in the state. It is rather unfortunate that there is no integrated development plan since the creation of the state, which is why government is doing everything possible to overhaul the urban and regional planning in the state.
So, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has taken it upon himself to make sure that there is proper planning for the whole State and Ibadan in particular .The focus is to make Oyo State an urban masterpiece that will be the envy of all.
Why create new towns?
There is a general belief that Ibadan is congested. What we are trying to do is to decongest the city. The present administration wants to establish new towns out of cities and urban centres in the state, which can compete with urban centres anywhere in the world. Presently, we are planning three new towns for the state.
We have acquired about 238 hectares of Land for the proposed Ibadan new town along Ibadan/Oyo Expressway and the project will be executed through public private partnership (PPP) arrangement. The court has ruled in favour of the State government concerning the Ajoda New Town, Oyo State Housing Corporation under my ministry has already taken over the place and work will start immediately.
To further decongest Ibadan, the government is developing some GRAs. About 500 plots were demarcated at Restoration Estate along Elenusonso Road, Ibadan, as well as various plots of Land at Dugbe Alawo Area, Ojoo Area, and along Ibadan/Lagos Expressway for development.
So, because we are building new GRAs outside Ibadan, we need infrastructure like good roads. Government has awarded a lot of contracts to construct roads leading to these GRAs. We have contacted some developers and very soon they will start work on those projects. We will build low income-, medium- and high-profile houses in both the new towns and the GRAs.
The state’s housing needs
You know Oyo State is already having housing deficit according to the Federal Government’s statistics on housing. So, we are planning to build about 2,000 to 3,000 houses in the next one year for the masses. Now, the State government is trying to meet the housing deficit by partnering KFS Consulting to construct 624 housing units at KM 22 Estate, Iwo Road, Ibadan.
The state’s housing corporation had cleared about five hectares of Land earmarked for the KM 22 Estate. The project will also be executed on PPP’s basis and promises 122 two-bedroom semi detached bungalows, 95 three-bedroom semi-detached bungalows, eight two-bedroom semi-detached terrace houses in 20 blocks, and one, two-bedroom semi-detached apartments in 30 blocks.
There are other housing projects presently going on in the State under the PPP arrangement to complement the Housing Corporation’s projects. The corporation has already commenced sale of houses at Owode Estate Ibadan in which 16 out of the 78 houses built had been fully paid for, while deposits have been made for 30 units. So, government will continue in its efforts to provide housing for the masses as enunciated in the programme of the present government.
Incentives to attract investors
The State is blessed with about 28,000 square kilometres of land, which gives us an edge. We want all the investors to come to Oyo State. In the next few months, a lot of projects will spring up - like hotels, housing projects and others, but they have to abide by the rules and regulations of the state.
We will Reduce some Charges on Land where necessary and government is trying to provide necessary infrastructure to help investors. That is why we are doing PPP arrangement; we take up our own percentage of the deal and the investors too will contribute under the agreement. This is one way government is trying to encourage investors and also tell them that we are committed to their project. We hope it will help them too.
Issuance of C-of-O
We know the importance of Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) to the people of the state. Immediately this government came in last year, the governor directed my ministry to issue the document to applicants within 90 days. Now, if you have the proper documents and pay the necessary fees, you will get the C-of-O within three months.
The governor takes the issue seriously and says there should be no more delay in issuing the document to applicants. Whenever I take the documents to the governor, he immediately gives his approval. Once I sign them, I will ask my information officer to notify the owners to pick them up. As of today, I have signed over 300 C-of-Os. This is why we keep telling the citizenry not to patronise middlemen or touts to get their C-of-O.
Other Land documents, like application for mortgage is now two weeks; sub-lease also takes two weeks; assignment, one week, and registration deeds, two weeks.
All these can be obtained from the State government without much problems, because once you have the proper documents, pay the fees, you will get them. These are part of government’s efforts to generate more revenue, to attract local and foreign investors willing to invest to have easy access to Land acquisition.
Land revocation in parts of the state
You see, plots of Land were awarded to a lot of people before this administration came in. When you are given a C-of-O, it means there is an agreement between the State government and the person that this property will be developed within a given number of years. If not developed, it becomes a breach of agreement. Another thing is that if you are not developing this property, it faces revocation, meaning that you have to give it to somebody who needs it and can develop it within time.
But at the same time, we don’t want to give anybody hard time. We will not tolerate the issue of getting a landed property from us and keeping it right there for a long time. If you are not interested or have no means of developing right now, why take it? So, the revocation of plots is ongoing at Owode Estate and plots so revoked will be allocated to those allotees whose plots were affected by the dual carriage way construction.
The housing corporation will soon pay a total of N285.11 million as compensation to those allottees that will be affected by the Odo-Ona Elewe-Apata dual carriage way.
Ministry’s achievements in 11 months
We have been able to resolve the inter-state boundary disputes between Oyo and Kwara states, which has been referred to the National Assembly for determination as the National Boundary Commission concurred on the position. Also, within the period, the dispute between Oyo and Ogun boundary issues were resolved with all the contending villages like Bakatari, Eleso and Anigbede were conceded to Oyo.
Likewise, amicable resolution of various intra-local government boundaries disputes and communal disagreement between warring parties were achieved. The ministry was able to demarcate and survey the first segment of Oluyole Free Trade Zone, covering about 1,377 hectares along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway plus the demarcation as well as survey of 60 hectares of lands at three different locations within Ibadan for Federal Mechanic Resettlement Scheme.
The Oyo State government is set to decongest Ibadan, the State capital, touted as the largest city in West Africa. In this interview with REMI FEYISIPO, Isaac Abidoye Omodewu, the state’s commissioner for lands, housing and survey, reveals the State government’s plans to attract investors, create new towns, build up to 3,000 houses in the next one year, and remove obstacles to the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, among other issues. Excerpts.
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