Digital Land, Property Management: Stakeholders Commend Gov. Emmanuel
Governor Udom Emmanuel has been commended for his effort at setting up a digital land and property management system for the state.
At a media town hall event to introduce the system known as the Akwa Ibom Geographic Information System, AkwaGIS, speakers echoed that posterity would be kind to the Governor for the initiative which they described as timely.
The AkwaGIS is a modern digital platform deployed by the government that uses technology to store enumerated property information.
The State Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Pastor Umo Eno who was the Special Guest of Honour and Chief Host at the event, said the system was borne out of the Governor’s desire to break new grounds in service delivery to the people of the state.
“We thank our Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for his pioneering effort and for always stepping outside the box to do something which generations of Akwa Ibomites will in future live to thank him for,” he said.
According to Pastor Eno, the AkwaGIS is “one thing that we will live with and will come to be a blessing to Akwa Ibomites many, many years to come. It will answer to a lot of things; a lot of land theft, a lot of encroachments and a lot of forgeries.”
He further said the system will also assist business people in the state to carry out seamless transactions with banks and other financial institutions.
The Chairman of the occasion and former Chief of Defence Intelligence, AVM Monday Morgan praised the Governor for “thinking out of the box to set a pace in the Nigerian property management and protection system” and described the initiative as “resourceful approach to technology.”
Morgan who said landed property one of God’s greatest gift to man, reiterated the importance of the GIS to the protection of same and for the benefit of man.
“The GIS system is an automated system that continues to evaluate your property. What Governor Udom is trying to do is to civilise property system in Akwa Ibom State.
” We are tired of litigations. We are tired of people running around. We are tired of reports of some next of kins being schemed out by money bags. A land once acquired must appreciate for the benefit of the generation of the owner and his kins,” he noted.
The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Linus Nkan, said the GIS will bring about economic prosperity to the state and equally praised Governor Emmanuel’s effort at closing the analog and digital gap in the process of documentation, information and management of land and property.
Nkan said the Governor was working to realise “the very long dream of Akwa Ibom people to have a digitalisation of land and property and resources.”
According to him, rather than serve as a source for the introduction of property tax, the GIS will bring advantage and benefits in economic property for the people.
“It is not the intention of Akwa Ibom state government to introduce property tax through this process. The AkwaGIS is rather to bring a lot of advantages and benefits to the people. I was a banker in Akwa Ibom State and I do know the problem our people face here. For us, the aspect that is of great interest is the economic progress of our people.
“You cannot be a very successful business man if you don’t have access to bank facilities. Our people do not have what it takes to provide collateral that can secure them opportunities to have bank facilities to run their businesses. AkwaGIS is one of the ways to have titled documents. This is one of the ways we can use to accelerate the economic development of the state,” Nkan stated.
Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government Area and State Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria ,ALGON, Hon. Iniobong Robson, also appreciated Governor Emmanuel for the initiative. He said a lot of people have fallen into trouble due to the lack of an efficient and effective property enumeration regime, noting that the initiative will make life better in the state curb crime and improve the security of lives and property.
Consultant to the project, Dr Frank Ekpenyong, who also applauded Governor Emmanuel for the timely response to the need for the state to key into what obtains in the civilised world, said the project will kick start with the enumeration of buildings by designated enumerators who have been well trained and equipped for the purpose.
Others who spoke at the event included Chairman of Uyo Local Government Area, Dr Uwemedimo Udoh and Chairman of Nsit Ubuim Local Government Area, Arc Iniobong Orok .