Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has intensified war against land encroachers and speculators who indulge in double allocation and land racketeering.
The state commissioner for lands, Hon. Nnamdi Onukwuba, disclosed this to newsmen in Awka on Monday while speaking on the efforts of the state government in addressing issues associated with land acquisition and usage in the state.
The commissioner stated that upon his assumption of office as commissioner for lands in Anambra state, there were lots of issues and challenges relating to land administration in the state.
He observed that lands were doubly and illegally allocated as well as generally mismanaged, adding that government was currently working out strategies to repackage and set things in the proper perspective in order to regulate land administration and management in Anambra state.
Onukwuba added that a land revalidation exercise was conducted recently in the state where government discovered issues of double allocation and mismanagement as regular practice, stressing that the state governor had approved regulation of the process whereby land acquisition and ownership followed due process of the law so that government revenue would not be subverted by racketeers and people would also not be disenfranchised from their lands.
The commissioner therefore posited that the governor’s timely response to land issues in the state made it possible for it not to lose lands anymore as it were even as he pointed out that the governor was giving the ministry support to reclaim lands in custody of speculators and encroachers.
According to him, the state government also has a policy on ancestral ownership of lands. He said compensations were paid to traditional land owners upon acquisition and government protected such property from trespassers and encroachers, as illegal encroachments met the wrath of the state physical planning board that was on ground to stop work on any illegally acquired land.