By Aishat O. Yusuf.
The Director-General, Bureau of Lands and Urban Development, Hon. Nazir Yusuf Ochi (CNA) is set to mark the occasion of his second anniversary in office with remarkable achievements to show for it.
Hon. Nazir on the assumption of office on the 7th of January, 2020, stretched his tentacles in understanding both internal and external factors affecting land administration in Kogi State with needs to ensure that there is a paradigm shift and massive repositioning of the Bureau to meet up with global best practices that will enhance sustainability and allow for smooth and secured transactions through a comprehensive packaged programs and activities.
Hon. Nazir Yusuf Ochi (CNA) being a member of the Steering Committee earlier constituted on implementation of GIS Lab (KOGIS) before his appointment as Director-General understands that effective and good land administration policies are very necessary due to widespread cases of land grabbing, forced migration and indiscriminate erection of structures.
Given the above, the Director-General in a quest to transform the State into a resilient city, attractive to both residents and tourists requires a continuous remodelling in line with world best practices for urban development policies and strategies.
To actualize these policies and strategies, the Director-General focused on three-exclusive areas in his first year in office; one of which is the timely take-off of the urban renewal program, human capital restructuring and infrastructural repositioning.
Similarly, some of the landslide achievements of the Bureau of Lands and Urban Development under the amiable watch of the Director-General include the careful finding of Kogi State Urban Settlements Plans to yield a better platform for development. This is because the quality of the environment in the capital city and other settlements of any state is the image of the government and the people.
The Director-General, Hon. Nazir Yusuf Ochi (CNA) through his tenacity of purpose in the last two (2) years have been able to resolve some of the ravaging problems affecting the efficiency of the agency charged with the responsibilities of land administration which includes; the need for standard GIS Lab, unhealthy relationship between the host communities around 16km radius (metropolitan area) and the Bureau.
The need for standardization of land rates and charges.
Diversion of services for personal gains.
Inadequate data and information on properties and settlement within the State and other critical issues.
The Director-General, Hon. Nazir, while tackling the highlighted problems devised various techniques in handling the issues to ease and soften land administration by aligning his efforts with the New Direction Blueprint of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, he focused his attention on solving the problems by taking the following actionable steps:
blockage of loopholes on revenue generation: the Director-General in his wisdom did this through automation of process costing and introduction of appropriate checks and balances for easy identification of fraud.
The Director-General within the space of 2 years processed a total of 2,350 Certificates of Occupancy (C OF Os). This he did effortlessly by reviewing the ambiguous land services as well as process flow in such a way that batches of signed C of Os are now possible within 60 days.
Enumeration of over 43,000 properties particularly within a 16km radius to solve the issues of inadequate data and information on properties and settlements in Kogi State.
Engagement of over 90 young graduates as Ad hoc staff to address the issue of inadequate manpower.
Eliminating the issue of unhealthy relationships that existed between the host communities and the Bureau through effective conflict resolution between the Bureau and the host communities led to more public trust in the Agency.
Also, implementation of Property Owners Express (POE). The Director-General designed this program to regularize the title documents of existing structures without C of O with a granted waiver on existing rates as motivation for residents participation as well as to increase the asset capital of the people and ease business flow to enhance revenue generation.
Maintenance and renovation of office to improve the working environment of staff for increased performance.
Reviewing of government layout on TPS 33 that gives over 800 plots for fresh allocation and opening of 10 access roads.
In line with the above feat, it is safe to say that the ultimate goal of the present administration led by His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello through an efficient and dynamic Director-General, Hon Nazir Yusuf Ochi (CNA) is to create a more reliable and trusted platform for land administration in Kogi State through reforms that will aid sustainability, delivery and security of tenure, equitable land distribution, sensible and attractive development.