BY EMEKA EJERE
The World Bank has pledged to give each state in Nigeria a grant of two million dollars to enable them to update their property records.
However, this is based on the condition that benefiting states capture at least 50 per cent of properties in urban areas that have electricity connection before June 30, 2021.
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘NGF holds SFTAS Peer Learning Events on GIS Deployment to Strengthen Land Administration and IGR at State Level…States that accomplish this task before June 2021 to get $2m’, signed by the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Barkindo said, “The Nigeria Governors’ Forum in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning assisted by the World Bank has scheduled two virtual peer learning events on ‘Using Geographic Information Systems Technology to Strengthen Land Administration and Property Taxation’ at the subnational level.
“The peer learning events are part of several capacity building efforts aimed at supporting the effective deployment of GIS at State-level. Efforts are underway to provide states with GIS data, ortho-photos of property mapping and software to support enumeration.
“States able to update their property records before 30th June 2021 to capture at least 50 per cent of the properties that have electricity connections in urban areas will each unlock $2m in performance grant under the World Bank-funded States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Program for Results.”
Bello-Barkindo explained that it was imperative that the property records reflect accurate information about the name of the owner/occupier, size of the land parcel, size of the building, use of the land/property amongst other criteria required by the programme.
He further said, “It is no news that states are at varying stages of GIS deployment with some notably Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, Oyo, Nasarawa, and Gombe States leading the way.
“The peer learning events will have these states showcase their deployment experience and avail aspiring states still early in the process of deployment an opportunity to break free of challenges that could derail and hinder GIS deployment at State level.”
According to the statement, the Senior Programme Manager of the NGF SFTAS Technical Assistance Project, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, who shared the invitation disclosed that the two peer learning events would be held on Thursday 5th and Monday 16th November 2020.
Ajogbasile noted that the states were determined to get it right this time and ensure old mistakes were not repeated, thus, the need to learn from the experiences of others who had led the way in GIS deployment.
He also opined that GIS deployment and the consequential benefit of holding accurate land and property records would bring sanity to land administration across the country while ensuring that fair and right taxes, fees or levies were charged.