By Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger State Government Geographic Information System, NIGIS was established and backed by status to undertake the recertification of all titles granted by Niger State as well as the regularization of titles from the natives and other sources among other functions.
The agency have commenced operations thereby requests members of the public and corporate bodies who own land anywhere in the State to come forward and regularize such titles, via the procedure put in place by NIGIS.
The Governor of Niger State, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu in a bid to give greater value for land in a state which has 76,363 square km (29,484 square miles) about 10.5% of total land mass in the country in which over 85% is agrarian established NIGIS in order to unlock the potentials of lands for sustainable development which he has succeeded in achieving in the state because the leader (Chief Servant) has to see beyond now but also inspirational for future.
The decisive moment in the transformational change in land administration in Niger State came under the direction and support of the Chief Servant, Dr. Aliyu who anchored the vision of his administration on innovation and technology. Good land management confers security to the land owner/holder and helps the stability of a state.
Any action on land impacts on both the lives of the people and the government and may alter the tone of developments and other activities. It is therefore a critical factor in national development. NIGIS is poised to provide the tool for modernizing and improving the management system, making it more efficient, functional and flexible.
NIGIS is saddled with the task of transforming the land documentation and administration process in Niger State by upgrading the process of land administration from analogue to computer base (digital), eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks and delays in land documentation in the state, maximizing the derivable benefits from land and land related matters for the benefit of the state, providing a platform upon which all other spatially based government processes and programs can take place.
The state government through its agency NIGIS charged the following fees for the application form for recertification N3,000:00, application form for regularization N5,000:00 while recertification fee of N10,000:00 and regularization fee of N15,000:00 respectively.
The ultimate objective of NIGIS is to transform the activities of the Ministry of Land and ensure that all sources of revenue from the ministry are noted, spatially represented and collection effected for the benefit of the state.
NIGIS has so far commenced the following activities: recertification of all titles granted by state, regularization of titles both from the natives and other sources, house numbering and property identification for orderly development, authentication of telecom masts and collection of outstanding land use fee from all telecom operators within the state.
The benefit from these exercise are numerous: Which included all records to be captured and stored in very secured systems, your new title is protected and many security features that would substantially reduce the menace of forgery, the town would have new order with all properties identified and represented on the database.
Dr. Aliyu, had on 4th August, 2014 inaugurated new Certificate of Occupancy for the state at Emir’s palace in Minna, where he assured that governors in the region are more than ready to protect the lives and property of everyone resident in the region and will not do anything that will scare away people from the north.
He said that Niger state government has been giving certificate of occupancy to Churches and Mosques while non indigenes that applied were also issued with the document without any string attached to their requests.
The Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum noted that the government intends to issue more than 50,000 certificates of Occupancy in the next five years adding that in the first instance, 5000 of such documents will be available before the end of this year even as stress and procedures were reduced to enable applicants secure C of O within two weeks
Governor Aliyu however, warned that those issued with the land title but refused to develop them within a specified period stands the risk of losing them to others who are interested in the development of the state.
He announced the granting of semi autonomy to the Niger State Geographic Information Centre (NIGIS) by so doing merging the Lands department to the organization and also announced the posting of top officials of the Ministry of Lands to the institution.
Governor Aliyu directed those he called ‘analogue’ staff in NIGIS and the Lands Ministry to return to the office of the Head of Service where they will be given new appointments maintaining that all the postings must be completed by tomorrow.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Dr Peter Sale Sarki disclosed that between 2012 and 2014 the NIGIS has been able to convert 50,000 manual files to digital format while over 1000 C of O were prepared signed and handed over to their owners making the agency to generate over N450m.