The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, has taken proactive measures to recover long-standing ground rent arrears owed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) by both private and government entities.
A recent release by the FCTA disclosed a backlog of ground rent owed by various institutions for their office spaces in the nation’s capital, as reported by Naija News.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is notably in debt, owing over N32 million for its headquarters in the Central Area of Abuja and an additional N20 million for its CBN office in Garki II.
The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), a subsidiary of the CBN, has a ground rent debt of N41.99 million for its office on Plot 54, Garki II, Abuja.
Similarly, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owes N5 million for its head office in the central area, and the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) has an outstanding debt of N7.5 million for its property on Plot 126, Central Area.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) also has outstanding ground rent debts for its office at Wuse II and several other offices in the capital city, totaling N1 million.
The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has a debt of N7.5 million for its office located in the Central Area, and its management board offices in the same area have a cumulative debt of N13 million.
The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company Limited owes an outstanding ground rent of N8 million for its office on Plot 1423, located in the Central Area.
Moreover, the Bank of Industry (BOI) Limited has a backlog of N20 million and an additional N12 million ground rent debt for its offices located at the Central Area and Asokoro, while the defunct Bank of Commerce owes N10 million in ground rent.
Federal Ministries, including Finance, Environment, and Foreign Affairs, among others, also have outstanding ground rents amounting to N4.9 million, N9.1 million, and N16.1 million, respectively.
Security agencies like the Nigerian Police, Civil Defence, and National Intelligence Agency also have significant ground rent arrears, totaling N30,533,906, N2,461,866, and N1,589,197, respectively, accumulated over several years of nonpayment.
Multinational institutions like the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Development Bank also carry notable ground rent debts for their Abuja regional office, amounting to approximately N702,728 and N456,820, respectively.
At the top of the ground rent debtors’ list is the Incorporated Trustees of IBB Golf and Country Club, with a significant backlog of N184.2 million in ground rent.
In response to this situation, the FCTA has witnessed a surge in ground rent payments since the minister issued a two-week ultimatum for property owners to settle their debts or risk property revocation. According to Muhammad Sule, the Director of Information and Communication in the FCTA, ground rent collections rose from their lowest point between June and July to a substantial amount of N500 million immediately after the minister’s actions in August. The earnings have steadily grown, reaching over N1 billion by September 17, and are expected to double by the end of the month, generating nearly two billion for the FCT Administration.