The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, has announced that obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) in Abuja will now require a National Identification Number (NIN) and Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Wike made this announcement during a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, also stating that existing landowners in the capital will need to undergo recertification to incorporate these additional features.
Highlighting the purpose behind these new requirements, the minister explained that he had refrained from signing C-of-Os during his tenure in order to introduce enhanced security measures, including the inclusion of NIN for individuals and BVN for corporate entities.
Wike emphasized the need for these measures by pointing out discrepancies and instances of C-of-O cloning. To address these issues, he outlined the new process, stating, “If a corporate body doesn’t have an NIN and they have a property, they must put their BVN. So many persons have not registered, and this will make them go and re-register.”
Discussing the implications for existing C-of-O holders, Wike clarified that they would only be required to pay a nominal fee for recertification. “For everyone who has a C-of-O, they will come for recertification so that we can incorporate the NIN or BVN,” he said. “Those who had a C-of-O before don’t need to pay money again; the highest they can pay is N50,000, and corporate bodies will pay N100,000. It helps in terms of security; it also helps to improve our revenue generation.”
Additionally, Wike highlighted the positive outcomes resulting from this initiative, particularly in accurately identifying property owners for taxation purposes. He explained that the new measures would aid in identifying individuals who own multiple properties and ensure they fulfill their tax obligations.
Addressing another aspect of the C-of-O process, Wike clarified the proposed N5 million fee for C-of-O from the annual ground rent. He clarified that the fee is based on land ownership rather than the structure built upon it, emphasizing that the amount would differ based on the property’s size and annual ground rent.
The introduction of NIN and BVN requirements for obtaining a C-of-O in Abuja aims to enhance security measures, address existing discrepancies, and improve revenue generation. The implemented changes will provide accurate property records for tax purposes and ensure a fair and transparent process for both individuals and corporate bodies.