Wike Unveils Anti-Fraud Measures, Saves N110 Billion In Three Months

Daud Olatunji

In a bid to combat the rising menace of fraudulent land transactions in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Minister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has declared war on syndicates issuing fake Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os).

 The minister, who assumed office in August, revealed during a meeting with estate developers in Abuja that he has successfully saved over N110 billion within his first three months in office.

Wike, drawing from his personal experience as the former Governor of Rivers State, highlighted the prevalence of fake C of Os, narrating an incident where three fake certificates were issued for his plot after a payment of N57 million.

Expressing his displeasure at the rampant issuance of fraudulent documents, he announced a drastic change in policy – a payment of N5 million would now be required to acquire a legitimate Certificate of Occupancy.

Gone are the days, according to Wike, when unsuspecting members of the public were allocated plots with different fake C of Os..

To further strengthen the authentication process, the minister proposed seeking presidential approval to link the National Identification Number (NIN) to the requirements for obtaining a C of O. This move aims to ensure accountability and traceability, particularly in cases of property-related crimes.

During the meeting, Wike also criticized the monthly salary expenditure of N8.9 billion for FCTA and FCDA workers. He urged for a review in the interest of financial prudence.

In response to appeals from developers to reduce the N5 million payment, the minister agreed to extend the payment period. 

Applicants can now complete the payment within four months, after which the legitimate Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

Wike emphasized the necessity of these measures, stating, “I can tell you authoritatively that I have saved not less than N110 billion for FCTA since I assumed office three months ago. 

There must be sanity in our system, and we are ready for the necessary fight against fraudulent practices in land transactions.” This move reflects the minister’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and safeguarding the interests of the public in real estate dealings.


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