By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) losses a whopping sum of over N10 billion annually, in land and property service, due to obnoxious practices in its land management systems, FCT Senator Bala Mohammed, has disclosed.
“The administration was worried over the incessant reports of proliferation of illegal service documents and violation of Information Technology (IT) system by fraudulent persons giving rise to cases of double allocation, land racketeering and forgery in the FCT.
“And a recent estimate has put these obnoxious practices in terms loss to the tune of N10 billion naira”, Mohammed said yesterday, when he delivered a speech at the commissioning of new Abuja Geographic
Information System (AGIS) upgraded systems Infrastructure.
He added that, the FCTA being mindful of the strategic nature of land and property issues in the Territory took it up upon itself to ensure that honest land owners and intending ones are saved from the pains inflicted by fraudsters.
Peoples Daily reports areas the upgraded AGIS facility covers include; system hardware infrastructure equipment and configuration, AGIS backup data centre and state of the art 2013/2014 model geo-media
satellite imagery equipment that covers the entire FCT and some neighbouring states.
Others include; Close-Circuit Television (CCTV) installation, security monitoring nod, software application upgrade as well as the installation of higher system.
According to the minister: “A comprehensive action was taken, to fish out fraudulent officers, most of whom were interdicted and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies.
“Again, I gave a directive that a measure should be put in place, to forestall the violation of the system, in and outside the system.
“As we are aware, the spirit behind the transformation agenda of Mr. President is to ascertain a positive change in the way public sector business was delivered, with a view to improving the welfare of the people. The FCT administration is conscious of this fact, wants to translate these ideas into its operations.
“It is therefore heartwarming to note that remarkable successes have been recorded during this timely intervention; and now FCT has the latest technology needed to administer land and other data; and we are very hopeful this will enhance our planning activities as well as lead to improve internally generated revenue of the FCTA.”
He further disclosed that the FCT administration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Information Communication Technology equipment manufacturers such as Microsoft Corporation and some others, for two years of maintenance of the installed equipment, to ensure sustainability.
To ensure optimal performance in tuned with global standard, the minister said the key staff that would be operating the new system have undergone training, to update them with the new equipment, while
strategic operational and performance target has been set for the operational year.
“Evidence abound that the new system gives us course for confidence that our land data is secured, and business processes have tremendously improved, giving the disaster protection structure in place as well as the expansion of the services in other areas,” he added.
Earlier, the Nigerian Senate President, David Mark, who commissioned the new systems, said it would help to drastically reduce land related conflicts within and around the FCT.
Represented by the Senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, assured to back up the FCTA initiative with essential legislations, to deliver on its mandate.
While commending the FCT administration for embarking on upgrading of the systems, the Senate president however urged the operators of the upgraded systems to ensure honest use of it to achieve the desired objective.
On her part, the Executive director, AGIS, Jamilah Tangaza, noted that since its inception in September 2003, there has not been any hardware systems upgrade, which is an exercise that’s supposed to be carried out at the expiration of the useful lifespan of computer systems.
She said strong measures needed to be taken to fortify the overall security of the AGIS infrastructure, as well as put in place the necessary surveillance infrastructure, to complement existing initiatives, in order to safeguard the security of land titles.
According to her, the technical implementation of the new systems infrastructure was done almost entirely by the AGIS in-house IT team with some bit of support from their Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partners.