Faulty GIS Equipment Halted Process – Sources
N65m Required To Fix Machine
By Ismaeel Uthman
OWNERS of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the State of Osun have lamented the ‘unresolved’ delay in issuance of Certificate of Occupancy by the State Government.
The worried business owners, who spoke differently with Bioreports yesterday, said the delay in the issuance of the C’ of O’ is gradually crippling their businesses because they have not been able to access loans.
According to some of them, they needed the C’ of O’ as collateral to secure loans in commercial banks, lamenting that the unavailability of the document had denied them so many benefits of raising funds to support their businesses.
Some of the SMSE owners claimed that they had been processing their C’ of O’ since 2018 and were yet to be given the certificates as at the time of filing this report.
Findings by Bioreports revealed that a particular equipment being used for Geographical Information System in processing the C’ of O’ had developed faults since late 2018.
The GIS machine, according to investigations by the medium, is a sophisticated equipment that makes the charting of land easy for the processing of the C’ of O’, among other land-related functions.
According to sources, the machine was procured by the immediate past administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, noting that the collection of the C’ of O’ within a very short period of three to six months was made possible with the aid of the machine.
Since the GIS machine developed faults, the charting of land and other functions being performed by the machine for the enhanced processing of the C’ of O’ had been halted, making it impossible for the final processing of the document.
The sources confided in Bioreports that fixing and upgrading of the GIS system would cost N65m, adding that a memo had for long been sent to Governor Adegbeoyega Oyetola to that effect.
“We are aware that memo had been sent to Mr. Governor on the matter but nothing has been done on it since 2018. This machine is important to us. When it was functioning very well, we processed C’ of O’ between three to six months. But now, we have files that have not been processed since 2018.
“The machine is powerful to the extent that neighbouring countries came come here to chart their lands and do some other geographical programmes on it.
“It will cost us N65m to fix the machine. We believe this is not too much to spend on an equipment that is fetching us money. This year alone, the Ministry of Lands has generated about N500m. How much is N65m to N500m? The Governor should please look into the matter.”
Aside the faulty GIS equipment, findings by Bioreports revealed that there are some C’ of O’ files that were yet to be attended to on the Governor’s Table.
Some of the files, according to the sources, had been submitted to the Governor’s Office over a year ago.
Narrating her ordeal, a businesswoman, Mrs. Jumoke Sanni said: “It is over four years now that I have been on the C’ of O’. I had to start all over again last year when the initial effort to get my C’ of O’ was taking too long. It is sad that I have not heard anything on the new one too. I followed the laid down process to the latter. I needed it as collateral for loan. I have been unable to access the loan because of the delay in the issuance of the C’ of O’ and it has caused me a lot in my business.
Another applicant for the C’ of O’, Mr. Clement Sekoni said: “I have been on it for the past three years. I met all prescribed requirements to get a C’ of O’. The information I have is that mine had just got to the final stage. They said it is in the Governor’s Office for his signature. I was pushing for it, not because of loan, but here may be need for it in the future.”
Another applicant, who did not want his name to be mentioned, said: “I applied for the C’ of O’ early last year, but up till this moment, nothing has been heard about it. It is so painful because it has destabilised my business plan.
“I need the C’ of O’ as collateral for a loan I am processing in a commercial bank. I am building a hotel in a community around Ilesa and I approached my bank for a loan. The bank agreed to finance the construction of the hotel but asked for collaterals, which include C’ of O’ of my landed properties.
“The bank has discontinued the loan process because I could not get the C’ of O’ on time. This has halted my business plan. The state government should please look into the matter of the C’ of O’. The delay in the issuance of the certificates is killing some businesses.”
However, further findings by Bioreports revealed that some other applicants for the C’ of O’ might not have their documents processed because they did not have genuine survey papers.
Some of the survey papers presented for the processing of the C’ of O’ were not authentic, according to sources in the Ministry of Lands.
But the Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning in the State, Hon. Nathaniel Agunbiade said the claims by the complainants are not true, saying that the collection of the Certificate of Occupancy is still within ninety days in the state.
Agunbiade, in a telephone interview with Bioreports yesterday said: “That is not true. The moment all documents, particularly, the survey, is good, you take your C of O within 90 days.”