Faster C-of-O expected as FG automates issuance process

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the automation of the process of issuing Certificate of Occupancy on federal lands.

The council also approved various contracts totalling N30.57bn.

Briefing State House journalists after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed that FEC approved a memo for the design and equipping of an automation process for the issuance of C-of-O in respect of Federal Government lands.

“Currently, the minister for works and housing has delegated authority for signing certificate of occupancy in a manual form. But we are moving to automation based on this approval, that all of these processes can be initiated online, processed online, approved and printed in a digital form and this will provide also business continuity and retrieval in case of any obstruction arising from natural and other unforeseen courses.

“The contract for all of this was N976,037,330 in favour of IQ Systems with completion period of 10 months,” Fashola said.

The minister disclosed that FEC also approved all four memos he presented with respect to Benin-Ore-Ajebandele Road, particularly the section from Ajabandele to Shagamu. The contract was first awarded in 2014 by the previous administration.

Fashola said to complete works on the road, the specifications needed to be changed, particularly the shoulders and the pavement were inadequate as conceived to support the kind of trucks and tonnage.

“So, the redesign of the shoulders and pavement provision necessitated a revised estimated total cost of N22.879 billion to take the contract from original sum of N71.6 billion to N92.5 billion. The stretch involved is 99km from km162 to 261,” he said.

The council also approved the review of total estimated cost in favour of Messers RCC construction firm currently working there.

According to him, “Council also approved the contract for the Akwanga-Keffi-Makurdi highway, an existing contract executed under the China-EXIM loan by China Habour Engineering Construction Company (CHECK).

“This is a sub-contract within the contract, which is the construction of a nine-way underground cable and telecommunication facility dock over the length of 255 kilometres for N4.625 billion.”

Fashola disclosed that Council approved the contract in favour of a company called QSA Limited.

The company will first relocate some of the existing services, cables, pipes and all of that on that corridor and then construct a nine-way dock underground for future facility.

“So this will help in digital communication, pipe, gas and everybody who wants to lay service cables and allied installations in the future without necessarily damaging the existing road.

“The fourth memo was for the construction of a 4×20 meters span bridge at kilometre 18 along Lantang Wase Road in Plateau State for N2.867 billion to Metropolitan Construction Nigeria Limited,” he said.

Suleiman Adamu, minister of Water Resources, said the council approved two memos for the ministry, both of them for revision.

The first was the Fika Gadaka Water Project in Yobe State, which started in 2003 but was abandoned in 2007 at 30 percent completion.

“We sought council approval to revive the project and therefore, we had to revise the cost of the project and also change the scope of work to include things like solar power instead of the diesel generator provided for in 2003 when diesel was quite cheap,” Adamu said.

“We have taken a policy in the ministry that going forward, we will be using the solar system to power water schemes and accordingly, this was done in the case of this project plus an extension of the pipeline to cover more areas. Because between 2003 and now, obviously the two towns would have expanded,” he said.