Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, on Monday, handed over the digitised Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os) to the first set of beneficiaries in the Oyo Home Owners’ Charter (OYHOC) scheme.
The governor, during the handover ceremony held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, explained that with the initiative, C of Os can now be obtained within 60 days from the date of submission of application, as the state has eliminated bottlenecks that lead to delay in processing the document.
The governor stated that though there had been various unsuccessful attempts by successive administrations on similar initiative, adding that with the new initiative by the current administration, the problem has been solved for good in the state.
“You will agree with me that anyone who has proper documentation to prove ownership and purpose of property will have peace of mind regarding that property. For entrepreneurs, being able to quickly obtain this legal document is important in making business decisions. In fact, how quickly such document can be processed can greatly influence an investor’s decision about where to situate a factory or other business premises.
“It is, therefore, government’s responsibility to ensure the right policies are put in place to make the documentation associated with home ownership quick and easy. And this is why we are gathered here today, for the symbolic handover of certificate of occupancy to beneficiaries of an upgraded version of the Oyo Home Owners’ Charter, digitised certificate of occupancy,” he said.
The governor, who noted how the acquisition of C of Os under the new Oyo Home Owners Charter will now be within 60 days rather than three to four months, which was what obtained during the immediate past administration, said the reduction in the processing time is good for businesses who may choose to be situated in Oyo State.
“Let me share with you how this intervention differs from what we met when we assumed office a year ago. First, the acquisition of the new home owners’ charter’s Certificate of Occupancy is now within 60 days from the date of submission of the application form, provided there is no objection. Before now, it takes anything from three to four months.
“The shorter time period is good, especially for businesses who may choose to be situated in Oyo State. We have eliminated all bottlenecks that lead to delays in processing C of Os. We have created a digitised platforms with due referencing, which enables home owners or holders to confirm the true ownership of a property from anywhere in the world at their convenience. This mean that if you want to buy a property in Oyo State, you can check the authenticity of the ownership online from anywhere.
“This new platform has all operating equipment and facilities funded by the Oyo State Government. All data will be domiciled on state-owned servers and we will ensure the security and safety of all these documents.
“We have also installed new security features for these documents to checkmate forgery. For those who have never had the privilege of owning a C of O, this is a good opportunity to get one. From now until December 31st, 2020, you can buy the scratch card to obtain the application form for 6,000 Naira, and if you are among the first 2,000 applicants, you will get a 15 per cent discount on the course of procession your C of O.
“I am pleased to extend this intervention to individuals in all the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas of Oyo State. It is my hope that all will take advantage of this opportunity to regularise their home ownership documents and enjoy peace of mind, another perk that come with legal ownership of property in the state.
“There have been various attempts, not by just the previous administration, but other administrations, to do this same thing, but they were not really successful. But with this initiative, I believe the problem is solved for good in Oyo State,” Makinde said.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Barr. Rahman Abdu-Raheem, described the Land Title Documents Made Easy and lands holding records promotion and computerization by the Makinde administration as a step in the right direction.
Abdu-Raheem noted that past administrations had been paying lip service to the initiative, explaining how different companies saddled with such responsibility by the immediate past administration and another previous administration failed to achieve the target.
He added that the Makinde administration reviewed the inherited logjams and set up a smooth, prompt and adequate computerized method of processing C of Os and other land title documents within 60 days.