…Collects N3,492,659,894, as agency embarks on Mass Property Registration
…targets N6bn from World Bank in land-based investment process
…Governor Sule signs unprecedented 5,344 C-of-Os in four years
Nasarawa state has one of the best land administration systems in Nigeria. DONATUS NADI writes on the how the Nasarawa Development Platform and its components transformed land resource into the most potent source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and physical planning in a cursory look at it activities from 2012 to date.
Nasarawa Geographic Information Service (NAGIS) was established in 2012 and signed into Law in May 2017 to support the development of Nasarawa State through modern land administration anchored on revenue generation.
This foremost agency is the only official GIS data source for Nasarawa state that hosts all digital land administration matters which only recently migrated to the MERLIN Land Administration System in keeping with global best practices in land management.
Notable as the most professionally driven and consistent government agencies in Nasarawa state, NAGIS operates occupancy programs aimed at ensuring customer support and satisfaction during application process.
Under the leadership of its Director General, Mr. Sonny Agassi, it has also recently embarked on Mass Property Registration having successfully completed the World Bank SFTAS Delivery Linked Indicator (DLI) 13, in order to fast track land registration through offering land owners ease of obtaining their title documents and to generate substantial land revenue.
Speaking on the agency’s commitment always deliver on its mandate while broadening the horizon Of revenue generation for the State, Mr. Agassi noted that the Nasarawa has achieved being one of the frontline states for the World Bank-assisted on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER). He said when it kicks off: “The project is expected to improve efficiency In property registration and sustainability of the land-based investment process in Nasarawa State between 2022-2025 targeting the total sum of $6million”.
As regards the short and longtime sustainability of the project, Mr. Agassi was quick to stress that NAGIS has a robust plan for generational shift in leadership and professional efficiency for the next generation in collaboration with a consultant. This he said: “supports the management and assists in optimising structures and streamlining workflows to ensure quick service delivery within the parameters of world best practice”.
“This hybrid arrangement has accorded the agency rapid growth, continuous optimisation of structures, procedures and revenue generation”.
In Nigeria, land administration in states is characterised by daunting challenges such as inability to meet the land requirements of the public, cumbersome process of getting the right-of-occupancy and certificate-of-occupation, frequent change of government policies, poor record-keeping, among others.
After five years of rigorous implementation of the mandate of the Nasarawa Development Platform at the cost of N2,940,017349.00 and N1,577, 756,000.00 in its first and second phases of implementation between 2012-2014 and 2016 to 2018, respectively, Nasarawa state created a robust platform for digital land administration, physical development and revenue generation unprecedented in the annals of land management in Nigeria.
With revenue generation as one of its centrepiece, the Nasarawa Geographic Information Service (NAGIS) has revolutionised the Internal Revenue Generation base of the state, generating over N8 billion in the past five years.
Records of revenue returns on land administration in the state showed that as at 2007 when the previous administration of Governor Aliyu Akwe Doma assumed office, what accrued to the state from land administration stood at N29,283,254.71.
After efforts to develop a more competent digitalized structure for land administration mechanism met little success, as at 2011 when he was leaving office after four years, only the sum of N34,810, 681.02 was realized, with the highpoint being in 2010 when the state got N53, 739, 195.09.
When Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura assumed office in 2011, he set about repositioning land administration to tap into its rich potentials and within one year the state realized over 1000 percent of its previous earnings on land.
Within a single year, as at 2012, the total sum of N317, 426, 306.29 was paid into the coffers of government as proceeds from land transactions which further yielded an unprecedented revenue of N448, 020, 842.68 in 2013 representing an increase of over N130 million.
The land sector scaled the half-billion mark in revenue generation on land administration in 2014 when it realized the sum of N608, 689, 414.32.
In 2015, however, there was a decline in revenue generated by about N74 million although reasons for such downturn was more of a national economic phenomenon as a result of an economic recession rather than administrative challenges with NAGIS.
Mr. Sonny Agassi, explained that the year 2015 was peculiar not only to Nasarawa state but all across the nation as the economy suffered the backlash of economic recession occasioned by the crash in oil price at the global market.
He said, like any other commercial interest, land administration through procurement of titles and servicing of rents suffered setbacks and as a result of which the land sector recorded N534,238, 854.37 representing a marginal drop from N608,689,414.02.
Explaining further, Mr. Agassi noted that although there was a shortfall in the collected revenue, the revenue generated for the year 2015 stood at N1, 856, 723, 664.00. He said the shortfall experienced in collected revenue was as a result of the inability of those whose titles were ready to claim them as a result of the economic crunch.
Documents obtained by our reporter showed that in the years preceding Almakura’s administration from 1996-2011 which cumulatively generated and collected N209,156,528 million.
In the period spanning the administration of Sen. Umaru Tanko Al-makura between 2012 to May, 2019, the sum of Three Billion Two Hundred and Sixty Million Two Hundred and Thirty Nine Naira (N3,260,662,239) was collected as revenue generated by NAGIS on land administration. However, it should be said that the total sum of N13,344,343,208 was generated within the same period.
In keeping with his principles of continuity and consolidation, Governor Abdullahi Sule followed through with the investment made on land management in Nasarawa State with vigour and determination to make the most of the gains recorded.
It is instructive to reveal that within his first tenure in office of Governor Abdullahi Sule the agency posted record breaking g figures in revenues generated and revenue collected . From June 2019 to December of the same year, the sum of N1,343,620,317 while the sum of N413,383,096 was collected Within the remaining seven months of his assumption of office.
In 2020, which was Governor Sule’s full calendar year as a sitting Governor, NAGIS generated record breaking N4,058,581,883 and equally collected record breaking N1,029,282,506. What makes these figures of distinct significance is the fact it was the first time over a Billion Naira was collected collected in a single calendar year. What makes it even more significant is that the year 2020 recorded a global economic meltdown due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2021, records show that N3,951,737,032, while N905,477,761 was collected as revenue a little short of the billion Naira mark. In the following year, 2022, N2,303,710,998 was generated while N856,188,365 was revenue collected. From June to July, 2023, the sum of N2,285,881,664 was generated while the sum of N283,327,485 was collected.
Cumulatively, in his first tenure in office as the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, NAGIS under Engr. Abdullahi Sule has generated N13,943,531894 and collected N3,492,659,894. The revenue collected under his first tenure in office represents more than half of what was collected as remittance from land administration since the year 2007 which stands at N6,962,477,980.
By same token, the generated revenue by NAGIS in Governor Sule’s first tenure has surpassed total revenue generated by the state since 2007 which stood at N27,287,875,102.
Records obtained, however, showed that the success recorded by NAGIS over the years is a direct consequence of the efforts of government in meeting its obligations. This is true to the effect that during Governor Abdullahi Adamu’s administration between 1999-2007, only a total of 3, 621 Rights of Occupancy (Rs-of-O) were delivered within 8 years. During Aliyu Doma’s four years between 2007-2011, a total of 717 Rs-of-O were produced and issued.
Similarly, from 1997-1999, 310 Certificates of Occupancy (C-of-Os) were issued, while during Abdullahi Adamu’s 8 years reign as governor from 1999-2007, a total of 214 were printed signed and issued, his successor, Aliyu Akwe Doma, issued only 24 in four years.
Within Almakura’s eight years in office between 2012 to May, a total of 3,254 Certificates-of-Occupancy (C-of-Os) were signed ready for collection, while from June, 2019 to July, 2023, a total of 5,344 C-of-Os were signed ready for collection as against 8,598 signed since the creation of the state in1996.
Similarly, from 2013 under Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura’s administration to May, 2019 a total of 4,651 Rs-of-O were produced ready for collection. However, under Governor Abdullahi Sule from June, 2019 to July 2023, a total of 7,376 Rs-of-O where signed for collection representing more than half of Rs-of-O produced by the state since 2013.
Speaking further on other reforms in land administration in the state, The NAGIS Director General, Mr. Agassi stated that applications for statutory titles on lands in Nasarawa state must now be accompanied by proper survey plan in the bid fully implement government’s reforms in land management and administration in line with international best practices.
While encouraging titles owners to come forward and collect their titles, he was quick to mention that in his magnanimity, Governor Sule has given discount on the various charges for securing title in consideration of the prevailing economic realities and to ease the cost of doing business in the state.