The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, has announced that obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) in Abuja will now necessitate the provision of a National Identification Number (NIN) for individuals and a Bank Verification Number (BVN) for corporate bodies.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, Wike revealed that discrepancies, including the cloning of C-of-Os, prompted the decision to introduce these additional features.
“Every allottee who seeks and applies for a C-of-O must supply his NIN; this is one of the features we are going to put in the new C-of-O,” he stated. He further added that corporate bodies without NIN would be required to provide their BVN.
Wike acknowledged the prevalence of unregistered individuals and entities, stating, “So many persons have not registered, and this will make them go and re-register.”
Existing landowners with C-of-Os are not exempt from the new requirements. They will undergo a recertification process to incorporate the NIN or BVN. The minister assured that the recertification fee for those with existing C-of-Os would be nominal, with individuals paying up to N50,000 and corporate bodies paying N100,000.
Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Wike emphasised its benefits in terms of security enhancement and improved revenue generation. “It helps in terms of security; it also helps to identify property owners accurately for tax purposes,” he remarked.
The minister also addressed the proposed five million naira fee for C-of-O from annual ground rent, clarifying that the fee is based on land ownership rather than the structure built on it. He emphasised that the differentiation in fees is linked to property size, reinforcing that the C-of-O is tied to the land itself rather than the structures erected on it.