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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Oyo State Governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi, has announced the change of paper-based Certificate of Occupancy to an electronic version with security features to make it a lot more copy proof.

Speaking at the weekend at the official flag off ceremony of the enumeration and assessment of properties in the state at the Housing Corporation Ibadan, the Governor also said his administration was introducing the homeowners charter policy designed to enable home owners in the state to regularize their land documents with as low as N120,000.

Mr Ajimobi explained that this was one of the measures being put in place by the government to lessen the pains of the current economic downturn.

According to him, the scheme was created to enable home owners in Oyo State who currently have no title documents like survey and building plans to obtain titles with great ease and at very affordable rates of N120,000, assuring that every measure has been put in place to ensure the scheme is transparent and devoid of unnecessary bottlenecks.

The Governor noted that, “This is one of the measures being put in place by our government not only to lessen the pains of the current economic downturn on our people but to empower them for greater economic possibilities.

“Also, Oyo State Government is changing from the current use of the paper-based Certificate of Occupancy to ‘e-C of O’, the electronic Certificate of Occupancy with features to make it a lot more secure and copy proof.

“The electronic C of O will contain the following elements: a scanned photograph of the Owner printed on a copy-proof security paper; an encrypted and enhanced 2D bar code that is unique to the owner; an additional embedded security characteristic containing vital security information that can only be viewed with an enabled barcode reader that is unique to the Owner only; and​ a distinctive Certificate of Occupancy number that will be very legible for all to see.”

Governor Ajimobi appealed to the people across the state, especially property owners, to cooperate with members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Oyo State chapter, who will handle the enumeration and assessment exercise, noting that the essence of the enumeration is to generate data that will aid sustainable developmental objectives in the state.

“Without a dependable data base, neither significant nor sustainable developmental objectives can be achieved. However, in order to generate, categorise and databank these critical information, the state government decided to engage the services and collaboration of the Oyo State chapter of The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV).

“Our decision to appoint and work with this institution as consultants for this very important assignment is a further testimony of this administration’s recognition of the role of professional bodies as able stakeholders in the daunting task of returning our dear state to its traditional and enviable position of the pacesetter,” Governor Ajimobi added.

In his address, Commissioner for Land, Housing and Survey, Mr Ajiboye Omodewu, said that the enumeration of properties became necessary for effective planning and determination for the provision of infrastructures like water, health centres, police posts, roads among others, appealing to the people of the state to cooperate with the state government to achieve the desired objectives of the exercise.

In his goodwill message, state Chairman of NIESV, Mr Adegboyega Quadri, appreciated the state government for establishing a record in the annals of the state by engaging professional for the enumeration exercise, pledging that the Institute will discharge its responsibilities effectively and efficiently.

He noted that the exercise will encourage spatial spread of residential areas as well as being used to challenge census figures and resolve housing deficits, urging that other professional bodies should enjoy patronage from the government.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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