By Oduyemi Odumade
The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on Federal Capital Territory to liaise with the administration to explore and resolve all issues surrounding the lack of issuance of certificates of occupancy to property owners.
This resolution was a sequel to the adoption of a motion by a member from Katsina State Mr Sada Soli at plenary.
The lawmakers stated that in a bid to provide adequate and affordable housing to contribute to bridging the housing gap in Nigeria, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in the year 2000 initiated the Mass Housing Scheme project to provide affordable housing through a public-private partnership (PPP) policy arrangement.
He expressed concern that property owners within the Mass Housing Scheme Estates received a certificate of occupancy issued in favour of the estate, which negates the principles of tenant-owner protection.
“The Mass Housing Scheme initiated by successive FCT administrations has given rise to the development of smart estates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which has boosted the Internal Revenue Generation of the Federal Capital Territory Administration over the years.
“A certificate of Occupancy is essential for land owners as it establishes the legitimacy and compliance of the property, verifies its safety and habitability, aids in securing insurance and financing, enhances property value and marketability, and provides protection for both the landlords and tenants.
Mr Soli observed that prospective tenants or buyers of such properties and property owners within such estates may end up in potential disputes, liability issues, endless legal complications, and increased risks due to the absence of a Certificate of Occupancy.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated the committee to report back within six weeks for further legislative action.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Bukky Alabi