Following the peaceful local government election conducted in Plateau State by the State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASEIC)the State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Hon Yakubu Dati on Monday said that Governor Simon Lalong has proved his doubters wrong.
Our correspondent reports that several groups sponsored by the opposition parties had called for the postponement of the Local government council poll citing security.
Dati who spoke on a radio programme, monitored by our correspondent in Jos praised the electorate for their peaceful conduct and large turnout during the election in the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
He also reacted to the exclusion of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the Plateau State Local Government polls, saying PDP was responsible for its fate and not the APC.
Dati said, ” Politics is a strategy and not emotions and sentiments as elections are not won and lost on the social media, they are won in the field and ballot boxes .”
” PDP is the architect of its problem, We didn’t cause it, they shot themselves on the foot. It is a PDP stalwart that took the party to the court, It happened to the APC in Zamfara where a member of the APC took the party to court.”
“We won the governorship, the Senate and all members of the House of Representatives and House of Assembly but we still lost because our member took us to court. So it is not our doing, it is their doing, We reside in a lawful society, not a banana republic, he stressed “Dati further stated.
“The APC as a party has high regard for the courts and believes that it is a very important part of the democratic culture”
Speaking on land administration in Plateau State, Dati said the fifty percent waiver on all land transactions in the state-approved by Governor Simon Lalong is still on.
He said that the Governor recently approved the extension in view of the current economic situation which made it difficult for the public to benefit from the initial waiver.
Dati further said with the dwindling revenue generation from the oil sector, the ministry is exploring land-based revenue in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure maximum revenue generation for the overall development of the state.
Recently we held a stakeholders’ engagement on “Efficient Lands Administration and Revenue Generation in Jos .
He noted that land-based revenue has remained hugely untapped in Plateau and the return to the sector for adequate revenue generation was what informed the stakeholders’ engagement programme.
‘It is beyond argument that the world over, land-based revenue is the new black gold of the 21st century even more so with the dwindling income generated from crude oil occasioned by alternative means of energy such as solar and biofuel which is eroding the dependence hitherto placed on crude oil,’ Dati said.
‘In Plateau State, land-based revenue has remained hugely untapped and the returns from the sector are in dire need of a turnaround.
‘It is for this and other reasons that the Management of the Ministry deemed it necessary to organise this stakeholders’ engagement in order to bring both professionals, Technocrats, development partners and clients of the ministry under one roof to brainstorm on the way forward and to chart a way forward for the growth and development of the state through increased revenue generation.’
He explained that the Ministry has identified priority areas it intends to leverage in its bid to improve revenue in the state which includes enumeration of properties in the state; mandatory recertification of all certificates of occupancy; standardisation of conversion of titles from customary to statutory; massive issuance of demands notice for payment of ground rent and commencement of recertification within the Miango and Rantya layout.
He noted that the process of obtaining titles is being simplified as well as the medium of payment of fees by the ongoing integration between the Ministry and the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service to reduce public apathy in the payments of land-based fees in the state.
‘The ministry is not leaving any stone unturned in its bid to becoming the major revenue earner of the state and a critical stakeholder in the realisation of His Excellency’s vision for the state which is being threatened due to paucity of funds.’
Dati further called on people of the state own titles for their properties .
He said the Governor Simon Lalong led adminstration is determined to better the lives of citizens of the state and urged citizens of the state to support the All Progressive Congress APC at all times .