Land owners in Imo state have been advised to go for a re-certification of their Certificate of Occupancy at the ministry of Lands, Survey, Housing and Urban planning.
The governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Sir George Eche gave this advice at the occasion to mark the flagging off of ‘Signing of land title documents’ by the State Government.
Speaking during the occasion which held at the Imo International Convention Center (IICC), Owerri today, the governor said that the new C/O has been designed to correct the lapses associated with the old C/O, adding that “unlike the old C/O, the new C/O will be very difficult to forge”. He said that in addition to generating revenue for the government, the new C/O will guarantee the upgrade of the process of land ownership in Imo from analogue to digital.
Earlier, Governor Okorocha’s Chief of Staff, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu disclosed that as at 2011, the ministry of Lands were using manual procedures for land registration and this made it easy for land syndicates to forge land title documents.
Speaking further, Nwosu said that by 2012, the ministry of Lands under his leadership upgraded the procedure for documentation of land ownership using ICT based techniques and this led the emergence of the new C/O. He said this has brought integrity to ministry of Lands and assured that the ministry will run an open door policy.
Also speaking, the commissioner for Lands, Survey, Housing and Urban planning, Chief Lawrence Eburuoh said that the day’s event marks a giant stride in the effort of the state government to satisfy the yearnings of the people for a genuine land ownership system, adding that cost of processing the C/O will be cheaper now that the ministry has computerized the procedure.
He said the new C/O does not invalidate the old one but advised land owners to obtain the new C/O so as to secure their land.
In attendance at the event were some members of the State Executive Council, some members of the State House of Assembly, Civil Servants, Artisans and other private citizens including the Lecturer of the day’s event, Prof. Iche Kanu.
High point of the event was the signing of the new C/O belonging to a land owner by the commissioner for Lands, Survey, Housing and Urban planning, Chief Lawrence Eburuoh.