- N378m compensation paid to some
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, has revealed the names of the 38 individuals that were allocated plots of land within government owned schools, particularly Rimi College by previous administrations.
The allocations, which some described as an encroachment on government as well as abuse of power by those that used their positions to acquire them, had before generated controversy, following Governor Rufai’s insistence of revoking such titles.
Accordingly, the governor was challenged to name those found wanting and yesterday he listed former minister, two ex-speakers of Kaduna State House of Assembly and other top politicians as the culprits.
Prominent among those who benefited from the land allocation are former Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hassan Hyat, who got a plot of land measuring 504m2, two former speakers of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Umar U. Shehu, and Hassan Jumare as well as a member of the House of Representatives, Joshua Yakubu Barde, and several other beneficiaries.
According to a statement issued by Samuel Aruwan, the media aide to governor El-Rufai, the land titles were allocated to the beneficiaries between 1999 to 2015 during the administrations of the Military Administrator of the State, Colonel U . F Ahmed, late Governor Patrick IbrahimYakowa and the immediate past governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero.
However, the governor said about 20 of them, who had developed their allocations, were compensated with amount ranging from N1million to N72million, amounting to over N378 million.
“In the interest of transparency, the government considers it prudent to publish the names of the individuals that were allocated plots of land within Rimi College by previous administrations.
“The government is aware that some of the 38 beneficiaries of the allocations took no steps to develop their plots because they had reservations about building on school property. Government hopes that our elite would subscribe to a consensus that preserves and respects the integrity of social assets like schools and hospitals.
“At its meeting of 16 November 2015, the executive council of the Kaduna State government approved the payment of N378,357,752.00 as compensation for the first 19 properties whose valuation processes have been concluded. More compensation payments will be considered as other properties are valued. In addition, the titleholders will be given replacement plots of land.
“As part of its human capital development agenda, the Kaduna State government is committed to expanding access to quality education. Central to its education reform programme is the restoration of the iconic schools whose facilities have been encroached by public institutions and private concerns. The recovery of school lands is imperative to better position the schools to properly discharge their primary mandate.
“The recovery exercise is now being implemented in Rimi College, Kaduna. Founded in 1941 as Saint John’s College, the school occupies 24.387 hectares of prime land. Three governments eventually excised a total of 3.19 hectares, which they gave to private individuals. The school also lost its students’ hostels, which were converted to offices for some state and federal agencies.
“The government is determined to restore Rimi College as a boarding school of quality. Appropriate relocation notices have been sent to the state and federal agencies occupying the school premises. The private land owners have also been served notices of revocation. Those who have valid titles and development approvals are having their properties valued for the purposes of compensation,” the statement reads.