Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, says an ad hoc committee of the senate investigating a N6 trillion unpaid ground rent should direct its enquiries to the office or the secretary to the government of the federation (OSGF).

The upper legislative chamber had set up the committee to investigate and recover over N6 trillion accrued from the non-payment of ground rent from property owners across the country.

Addressing the committee on Wednesday in Abuja, Fashola said the presidential implementation committee (PIC) will be in the best position to speak on the matter.

“About two years or so ago when they started passing C-of-Os to me to sign and I said where is the delegation? Because the power to sign C-of-Os are vested in the president for land belonging to the federal government and in the state governors for lands belonging to the states,” NAN quoted the minister as saying.

“In the process, I saw a body called PIC, the body that was supposedly issuing receipts and all of that. Anytime I sought to find this body, nobody showed up.

“As we are getting close to the end of term, I now formally wrote, I asked the director of lands to write them, to ask to tell me what they are doing.

“They PIC replied that they are not accountable to our office they are in the SGF office and they report to the presidency. So, as far as your letter seeks to ask us to account for the PIC, they don’t report to us.

“I will advise that you direct your enquiries about what the PIC does to the SGF since the organisation does not report to me, I cannot account for them.”

Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Adamu Aliero, the committee’s chair, said they have interacted with the presidential panel and it said N18 billion has been recovered so far.

“Within the next three weeks, we will come back for an update. I’m sure they will be able to collect whatever is due to the federal government on all federal government property either sold or still under the hold of the federal government,” he said.

“You will agree with me that in this era of revenue shortfall and federal government is trying to diversify all sorts of revenue other than oil.

“When they hear N6 trillion, definitely, a lot of attention will be given to it.”

The Cable


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