Reps seek Sanwo-Olu’s support to recover NELMCO, other abandoned properties
The House of Representatives has called on the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to support the ongoing efforts by the Parliament to recover multi-trillion naira abandoned Federal Government-owned moveable and immovable properties.
The House through the Ad-hoc Committee on abandoned Federal Government Properties particularly sought the intervention of Sanwo-Olu in the recovery of all Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited (NELMCO) properties in the South-West geopolitical zone.
Chairman of the ad-hoc Committee, Ademorin Kuye who led other members on the visit to Lagos told the governor that the legislative action was sequel to the complaints laid before the House some years ago, about Federal Government’s properties lying around all the States of the Federation.
Kuye said the panel was concerned especially with those Federal Government’s properties that are being occupied now by hoodlums, some by unauthorised persons, some by retired civil servants who are now transferring the properties to their children.
“Their children did not know that the properties do not belong to their fathers. So they think those properties are actually theirs. And we felt that these are properties that should be reclaimed and some that should be put up for sale, so that money can come into the government’s coffer, both at the state and at the federal levels,” Kuye said.
“So that we can have a win-win situation, remove the security problem that these abandoned properties are constituting to State Governments, and at the same time bring revenue to the government; and make useful enterprise out of all of those properties. That is why the Ad-hoc Committee was formed.”
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While noting that the ad-hoc Committee had inspected some properties owned by the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), he said: “You will recall that during the privatisation of NEPA the core asset of NEPA, offices, the machines and all of that were transferred to private owners.
“While an agency was formed by the Presidency to act as a vehicle for alienation of non-core assets, those are the Estates, the residential premises and all of that.
“We were at Ikeja GRA yesterday, Ikoyi, some at VI and there are others properties like that that we have been looking at. For example, we were at Merage, we were at Lekki, we were at Ladoke Akintola, we were at Kingsway, and other places and there are still a whole lot of those non-core assets of NEPA.
“We equally have the list generated by the Presidential Implementation Committee on Alienation of most of these properties. Some of those properties, your excellency would recall during monetisation exercise that took place under President Obasanjo and since then most of those properties have been sold to Civil servants who have retired and all of that, why some of those which are left behind, we are still looking at as to how we are going to dispose of them.”
Earlier, Governor Sanwo-Olu who pledged support for the lawmakers on the national assignment, saying the State has played a major role in fusing and bringing together the country called Nigeria today.
“From very historic time, even before Jaja of Opobo was adopted, it was an old colony of Lagos; it was the oldest colony in all of this country. Lagos had existed before Nigeria came into existence, before the amalgamation, Lagos had been two centuries before then.
“Lagos had had to carry the brunt for a significant amount of time before we birth Abuja. Given those stories into perspective, Lagos had become home to a lot of Federal Government’s assets as well as some liabilities at some point. So when you look at the assets, also look at the liabilities.
“Our submission, our request would be for the Committee to be very very discerning to be able to view Lagos with that compassion. So while that happens from our records, there are some assets that we know very clearly that it’s because of how governance has been in our country, there was no proper delineation between the state and federal government assets at some point,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu maintained that some Federal Government’s agencies in the 80s occupied some Lagos State, where they cohabit with Lagos State civil servants, “where A part will be Lagos State staff and B Part of it will be Federal Staff.
“And you know too well that during the military administration, the military administrator will not allow his bosses to be looking for houses, be it in whatever form, when he sits here as a Governor and he will not be able to take care of his own Constituents.”
He added that for the fact that the State had sat on the properties for about 40 years in law could amount to having ownership possession of the properties as recognized by law. But I will want the Committee to see how we can soften and see Lagos as the beaten child that should be taken care of,” he stated.