The Lagos State Lands Bureau has recorded N10.19 billion drop in revenue generation accruing from land transaction in 2017, representing a 50 percent fall in land revenue.
In 2016, the Lands Bureau recorded an all time high in revenue generation from land transaction as it hit N20.77 billion, but this was half into two in 2017 as it generated N10.579 billion, a downward trend of 50 percent shortfall.
Lands Bureau is a major source of revenue generation for the Lagos State Government, ranking second on annual basis after the Lagos Internally Generated Revenue, LIRS.
Yetunde Onabule, Special Adviser, Urban Development, who oversees supervises the Lands Bureau agency, at a ministerial press conference on Tuesday in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, is however, optimistic that the revenue of the Lands Bureau will definitely improve at the kick-off of the new schemes, subsequent transactions on State Land, payment by defaulters of Capital Development Levy and the recent redesigning and upgrading of the Land Registry.
She puts the revenue performance under consideration at 59% of the Bureau’s budget for the period.
Onabule is also upbeat about the performance of the Office of the State Surveyor General in the last three years in the achievement of its revenue target.
“The said Office achieved 118% performance of the 2017 budget and has intensified efforts towards not only achieving the year 2018 budget target, but surpassing it,” she says.
Also, recent constructions and rehabilitations of roads have led to massive demolitions of properties by government to claim the rights of way for projects of public interest, but that is not without compensation.
Such approved construction of roads and re–construction of dilapidated roads include the expansion/dualisation of already existing Irede/Abule-Osun road, off Lagos-Badagry Expressway; construction of Freedom road/ drainage channels; construction of Ebute- Igbogbo-Oreyo-Igbe-Bola Ahmed Tinubu Way;Ikorodu, construction of Ultra-Modern Bus Terminal;Oyingbo, reconstruction of and upgrading of Murtala Mohammed International Airport,Epe; Onikan Randle Family Land;Ojokoro Specialist Hospital; Housing Estate, Ilado, Igbogbo; Mechanic Village, among others.
Onabule explains that sequel to the approval by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, relevant agencies of government, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development moved to these areas to determine the Right of Way (ROW) for the proposed projects, while the Office of the State Surveyor General concluded the survey description of the affected properties to be acquired for the development.
In line with the approval, the special adviser says the Lands Bureau carried out a reconnaissance survey and detailed enumeration of about 1,880 properties /claimants affected by these projects, which includes residential, commercial, petrol filling stations and POW.
But Onabule argues that government is magnanimous enough to pay compensation to affected property owners to the tune of N11.81 billion.
“I can confirm to you that in line with the provisions of the Land Use Act 1978, which is the enabling Law for the revocation of Right of Occupancy (C of O), and payment of compensation thereof in the country, interest in the affected properties have been promptly revoked, and enumeration of these properties completed and payment of over N11, 814, 844 billion approved as compensation for properties/owners on the alignment/ right of way for construction, re-construction/ dualisation of roads, flyovers and ramps aimed at alleviating traffic gridlock and other forms of infrastructural development of Lagos is ongoing.
“Truth be told, the Akinwunmi Ambode administration has so far lived up to expectation in prompt payment of compensation on acquired land and title revoked for over–ridding public interest. As a matter of fact, we are duty–bound, as a responsible and responsive government, to pay compensation. However, payment of compensation must be with the presentation of all necessary documents as may be required, evidencing ownership of the land,” she says.