The House of Representatives made shocking revelations yesterday as it unveiled malpractices in the award and allocation of 7,600 hectares of land to companies and individuals under the Land Swap programme.
There were cases of unpaid dues and non- compliance with the requirements of the programme.
A company, Gwagwa Concession Company, was allocated 841 hectares of land by the previous FCT administration but refused to pay the N117.638 billion for the land.
The company only paid the required N350 million non-refundable fee, three years after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed.
Similarly, Head of Business Development for Abuja Infrastructure Investment Centre (AIIC), Sani Yakubu, confirmed that though the company got 289.9 hectares of land, it was yet to pay the N350 million non-refundable fee, which is against the terms of agreement.”We did accept the offer but did not have the document that said so.”
The queer insights were given during the first day of the investigative public hearing on the alleged malpractices associated with the allocation of land to 25 investors, under the Land Swap scheme of the past administration, by the Herman Hembe-headed House Committee on FCT.
AIIC said it was still looking for credible investors that would buy into the scheme for the development of the land.
But former minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed, who began the programme, said AIIC was not listed.
According to him, the land swap was meant to fill a yearning gap in infrastructure in the FCT, particularly districts in the capital city. He said so far, N2 billion had been invested for the development of the districts in the FCT.
Hembe said his committee was resolute in its bid to determine if the FCT followed due process as provided by the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and Land Use Act.
His words: “Having established the legality of our actions herein, accordingly, the Committee set out to do the following to ensure that the principles of fairness, priority and transparency are entrenched in the process.
“We requested from Abuja Infrastructure Investment Centre, relevant information and documents related to the Land Swap programme. We also requested some information from investors in the programme and have received as much communication on the matter as both the AIIC and investors showed a willingness to supply.
“We viewed the provisions of the Land Use Act, in relationships with the Land Swap programme to determine that the programme was not in conflict with the Act. We sought to identify the ground rules set by the FCT through the AIIC for the conduct of the programme, which were followed by the FCT itself and that the FCT ensured that the investors also followed the said rules,” Hembe said.
Other investors invited by the Committee are: Urban Shelter Infrastructure Limited; BDG Property Limited; Day Spring Property Limited; Gilmore Nigeria Limited; Dangote Group; Haitong International Nigeria Limited; Bolmus Nigeria Limited; Deepearth Nigeria Limited; AM-PM Global Network Limited; System Property Development Consortium Limited; Excite Business Facilities Limited.
Others are: Afri-International Project and Consulting Limited and Rosehill Group; Waru Pozema District Infrastructure Company Limited; Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited; Knox Energy Limited; M. I. Solaries Industries Limited; Ketti East District Infrastructure Development Company Limited; Nice Corporate Services Limited; Locke International Consultancy Limited; Masanawa Enterprises Limited; Urage Real Estate; Abuja Investment Company Limited and Plethora Realty and Facility Managers Limited.
Opening the hearing, Speaker Yakubu Dogara noted that the facts available showed that under the Land Swap policy, Government “set out to make up for the deficits in financing the development of the district’s by engaging private developers and investors to fund the development of these districts in the people’s interest.
“The hearing must determine that all that was set to be done to attain the development of the infrastructure in the districts was done appropriately and in accordance with laid down rules, set by the FCT itself and the laws of the land,” he said.