DELTA State Government, Monday issued three months ultimatum to owners of undeveloped plots of land in a choice location in urban areas across the State to develop such land or risk revocation of their Certificate of Occupancy, C of O of such lands.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Asaba, held that the State Government would no longer condone the attitude of persons holding down development after enjoying the privilege of being allocated land in such areas by the state government.
Aniagwu said the policy code-named ‘Operation Develop Your Land’ would affect those who refused to develop their allotted plots two years after it was allocated to them by the State Government.
He insisted that at the expiration of the three-month ultimatum, the government would invoke the provisions of the Land Use Act to revoke the Certificate of Occupancy issued for the affected plots, and re-allocate same to willing investors and developers.
Saying the State Government has already done the enumeration to ascertain the number of plots of land that have not to be developed since they were allocated, he said; “as from today, we are giving them only three months notice, anybody who has been allocated a land with C of O issued by the government for more than two years, and has not commenced the process of development, the government will take advantage of the provision of Land Use Act and revoke the C of O and then make that land available to other persons who are ready to develop it”.
He lamented that such undeveloped plots were not only distorting the master plan of the cities but also negated the drive by the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration’s drive to have a transformed environment.
Aniagwu said: “We want a transformed environment so we can’t continue to have bushes of undeveloped plots at the middle of our cities. We will not look at faces in enforcing this policy, even if you are the governor’s relation and you have refused to develop your land after two years of allocation, we will revoke the C of O.
“People applied for land and government graciously gave them. Rather than develop such plots, they have continued to nurse the land, looking for when the price will appreciate for them to sell. For us, these are land speculators.
“We want those ready to develop to have access to land. You can’t apply for land and government gives it to you only for you to go to Lagos or Abuja and sit down and allow our city to remain bushy because you are trying to make more money at the expense of our city.
“We have not employed anybody as a land banker. If we give you land, proceed to develop it. We are interested in fast-tracking our urban renewal drive.
“Some of the lands were allocated over ten years ago, and the only thing they do is to fence it and begin to nurture it for more dividends, that is not the reason it was allocated.
“We are convinced that with what we have put in road development, willing investors are interested in taking advantage of available land to develop and bring about employment and thus curb crime.”