Many boys in Abuja in the FCT are now making brisk business standing as proxies to pay ground rent for businessmen, civil servants and other big men who cannot stand the chaotic situation at the paying points.
Our correspondent reports that since the directive by the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, that names of defaulters of ground rent payment be published, title owners have been besieging the headquarters of the Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS) to beat the two weeks deadline given by the minister.
On a daily basis, allottees struggle to make the payment, the process which some of them said was tedious.
City & Crime reports that the situation is being exploited by “boys” who are now approaching the allottees to pay for them.
Our correspondent spoke with a businessman, Iyanda Sadiq, who said he had to approach some boys who promised to pay the money for him for an agreed amount.
Although Sadiq refused to disclose the amount he paid the boys, he said the boys collected 70 per cent of the agreed amount before going to the AGIS office for the payment.
He further said, “The following day, they brought my receipt and I paid them the balance.”
When our reporter approached one of the boys for such payment, they requested N10,000 but they later settled for N7,000.
Some of the allottes who were at the AGIS office waiting to be attended to, pleaded with the authorities to ease the mode of payment.
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The acting Director of AGIS, Isiaku Ndatsu Alfa, had confirmed to journalists that there had been a surge in payment of ground rent since the minister ordered the publication of the debtors in the national dailies and threatened to revoke the defaulters’ offers within two weeks.
Alfa noted that in order to cope with the surge of customers into the AGIS, more laptops and computer systems had been procured and that redeployment of staff within sections had been effected to meet up with the minister’s ultimatum.
Alfa stated that with the planned introduction of an online payment portal for collection of ground rent, Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and others, transactions would be easier and more money would be collected by AGIS.
He disclosed that an online payment app was already developed and an official launch was being expected by the minister before the end of the year.
Alfa explained that, “That platform will give you the freedom wherever you are, so that in the comfort of your home you can log in and feed in some necessary information which will lead to the payment of ground rent; depending on the area and lines of your property.
“That is the way going forward, and very soon, we can launch that app into the remita so the app will have an interface with remita.”