By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
An Estate Surveyor, Isiki Bamekpar Ola Bennett has said that compensation was necessary for compulsory land acquisition.
Speaking yesterday in an interview with our reporter, the Surveyor explained that “the compensation is necessary because Compulsory Land Acquisition is the taking of private lands by the government without the consent of its owner for the benefit of the society.”
He argued that in such case, compensation is necessary because it is money awarded to someone in recognition of loss or destruction of his property.
“When the government wants to provide infrastructure and basic amenities such as roads, bridges, public buildings etc.
for the people, they usually require land which will be used for that purpose. These lands are in possession of private individuals.
“The land Use Act of 1978 vested the ownership of all lands on the government while the land is given to people on long renewable lease.
“This gives the government the power to take land from whomever they want whenever they want since it belongs to the government once they have public interest to protect.”
He said when the government compulsorily acquires your land, they will not leave you empty handed.
“They will compensate you for anything that was put on the land such as buildings, economic trees and crops.”
ESV. Isiki further explained that the Estate Surveyor and Valuer is very important in Compulsory Land Acquisition because he/she is the professional that will place value on what one has on the land for the government to pay.
He added that Estate Surveyor acts as an attorney to the claimant to protect their interest so as to get the right value for their destroyed property.
He pointed out that “Without Compulsory Acquisition, there cannot be development in an environment because land must be required. You cannot build roads, public buildings and so on in the sky”.
The Estate Surveyor said Compulsory Acquisition also known as Involuntary Resettlement, not withstanding the good intention of government could also result in negative consequences where compensation are not paid promptly to beneficial claimants, the Act has made provision for this by way of interest on delayed payment which is hardly applied.
He said it is very important to note that government does not pay compensation on land but only on the development or improvement that one has done on the land.
“Our laws recognize Estate Surveyors and Valuers whether in public or private service as the authorized professionals that can ascribe values on all unexhausted improvements on land for compensation purposes.”