Wike insists Nigeria Customs must pay penalty on revoked land

By Hudu Yakubu, Abuja

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Nyesom Wike, has rejected the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) request for reconsideration over its revoked land by the FCT Administration (FCTA).

The minister announced the rejection when the customs officers, led by the acting Comptroller-General, Adewale Adeniyi, visited him in Abuja on Thursday.

Adeniyi requested land to build primary and secondary schools for the children of the more than 2,000 customs officers residing in the FCT.

Voice of Nigeria reports that the NCS was among agencies, organisations and individuals whose plots were revoked by the FCTA for failure to develop their lands.

He said that FCTA would support the service to achieve its aims and objectives, but lamented how government agencies were allocated land in FCT and refused to develop them.

On the land for school development, the minister assured the custom boss that it would be considered but on the condition that the agency would pledge to develop the land within a specific period.

Failure to comply, the minister said will lead to revocation.

“Schools, very important. It is not only the children of customs officers that will attend the schools.

 “My policy now is that, before we give land to any agency, it must commit that it will develop the land within a certain number of years and if not developed, the FCT should take back the land.

 “I will not allocate land that will lay till thy kingdom come. So, you must convince me that you are indeed really serious about building schools for the children of your staff and our children,” he said.

Another condition, according to the minister, is for the service to pay ground rent as and when due.

“Be rest assured that I am going to approve the land for the school. You bring the application; I will sign it and give it to the director of lands to give the land that you can use,” Wike said.

Earlier, the custom boss said that the visit was to congratulate Wike on his appointment as the FCT Minister and the outstanding works he had done so far.

He described the custom service as a critical stakeholder in the FCT with more than 2,000 officers residing in the FCT and contributing to the development of the city.

He, however, said that not all the officers’ children could access public schools, stressing the need to provide quality education to their children.

He, therefore, requested for a land to build primary and secondary schools for the children of the officers.