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The Federal Capital Territory Administration has taken steps toward recovering the huge debt owed by property owners in Abuja by placing caveats on affected properties whose cases are currently in court.
The caveat is to deny such titleholders access to the property and eventually forfeit it to the government.
This is even as the administration said it will continue with the prosecution of defaulters in court preparatory to obtaining a court order for the forfeiture of the affected properties.
Accordingly, the caveat formally placed will also safeguard such properties from being tampered with, especially by attempting to sell or transfer ownership, because the matter is being heard in court.
The implication is that when a caveat is placed on any property, whether developed or undeveloped and even if ground rent is fully cleared, a written application must be submitted and approval obtained before it can be lifted.
“The FCTA is determined to recover all ground rent debts owed by property owners in Abuja, and all necessary procedures will be followed to achieve this.
“Since the Administration has commenced prosecution of the defaulting titleholders despite several appeals from the FCTA, the only thing that can stop the progression of this action is for the affected property owners to clear their outstanding debts,” Director of Information and Communications, Mr Muhammad Sule, said in a statement on Sunday.
According to Sule, the FCTA has taken these steps to drive home the point that it is desirous of recovering the over N29bn in ground rents owed by property owners.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusade, had recently inaugurated a debt recovery committee with the mandate to recover the outstanding debts owed the Administration, with a particular interest in ground rents and other sundry fees in the Land Administration as well as other land-related departments.