Buyers Of Seized Lagos Properties Must Pay 2001 Rate –FG

Buyers Of Seized Lagos Properties Must Pay 2001 Rate –FG

The Federal Government has ordered buyers of two under- priced public properties in Lagos to pay the differentials of the real values of the properties as at 2001. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this yesterday while briefing State House Correspondents after the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. According to the minister, the Council arrived at the decision following a memorandum he presented to it in which he revealed that the government was short-paid in the transaction on the properties seized by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The properties, a fourbedroom bungalow on Adeniyi Jones Lagos, and another five-bedroom duplex on Amadasun Street in GRA, Ikoyi, Lagos, sold for N2 million and N5 million respectively were seized by the NDLEA in the course of narcotic prosecution. According to him, the buyers are now being requested to pay the sum of N18 million for the bungalow and N21 million for the five-bedroom duplex being the cost at which they were valued in 2001. “They were properties sold as a result of a prosecution for narcotics by NDLEA. So, they were proceeds of drug crimes, but the valuation process followed the NDLEA Act instead of the Financial Regulations Act.

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So essentially, those policy proposals were approved by the government. “The addresses of the properties, the first one is a four-bedroom bungalow with two room boys’ quarters at Adeniyi Jones in Ikeja Lagos, and the other one was a five-bedroom duplex with two room boys’ quarters at Amadasun Street, GRA Ikoyi, so they were sold for N5m and N2m respectively in 2001. “At that time, the valuation we got was that if they were properly valued, they should have been sold for N18 million and N20 million respectively,” the former Lagos governor explained. He noted that the NDLEA Act of the time gave precedence to the directives from the Ministry of Justice and regulations were made according to powers under the Act. “But they did not take cognizance of the procurement law and the financial regulations of the time. “So, we are now saying, going forward, the financial regulations must take precedence.

So, those are all proposals that will come as a new law when the Ministry of Finance finishes with them, so that you cannot have different regulations for disposal of assets that have been forfeited to the government. They must be subject to one superior procedure,” he added. The minister also revealed that the government approved a policy recommendation to extend the usage life of government assets such as plants, equipment, land, property and machinery. The new recommendation, Fashola said, would ensure proper disposal while saving government expenditure. With the new approval, the depreciation threshold for vehicles changes from four to six years.

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Plant and machinery would also have a 10-year depreciation period instead of the existing timeframe in the financial regulation. Also, the ministry proposed a strategic percentage depreciation rate per year for vehicles with two litre-engines and those above two litres. To ensure proper accountability, Fashola said ministers will now be fully involved in the procurement process as they must now sign off requests for valuation of properties of their respective ministries, departments and agencies.

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