By Aza Msue
Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA) has said about 900 plots have been illegally sold out with 426 plots either fully developed or at various stages of construction at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) College of Agriculture and Animal Science in Mando.
KASUPDA added that plots of land within the College Administrative and Staff Housing Area have also been sold and private facilities such as an event centre, a petrol station and private residential houses have been developed therein.
Addressing a news conference in Kaduna yesterday, KASUPDA’s director-general, Ismail Umaru Dikko, said the unlawful subdivisions, excisions and sales of plots were done without the consent or approval of the state government. “These actions constitute an unapproved change of land use and unacceptable violation of the purpose for which the G-Item was originally allocated,” he said.
KASUPDA said: “Over the years, an unfortunate pattern has developed wherein officials of some federal agencies in the state violate the terms of allocation of the land issued to their organisations. These officials have unlawfully excised public land and reallocated for private purposes.”
Dikko said the agency plans to allocate another land to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria at Kangimi village following disagreement over alleged encroachment by the ABU College of Agriculture and Animal Science in Mando area of the metropolis.
“It is strange that people who are supposedly out to protect institutional land will not exercise any curiosity regarding the unauthorized excisions that have occurred on the land or demand that their institution investigate how it happened.
“Till date, most of G-Item 1060 remains unutilised. The entire area was a forest when the land was allocated in 1965. Now, it is a veritable part of Kaduna metropolis.
“The entire area is being replanned in line with the reviewed Kaduna Master Plan Law, 2016 and the Urban Renewal Programme.”
Dikko added, “This replanning will preserve the college, its academic facilities, hostels, and staff housing on the current site but with a revised land allocation that more appropriately reflects its actual ability to use the land.
“The college will also be allocated land for agriculture in the Kangimi area earmarked for such endeavours in the Kaduna Masterplan.
“G-Item 1060, measuring 338 hectares, was allocated to Northern Veterinary Experimental Station in 1965. The College of Agriculture and Animal Science, which succeeded the Northern Veterinary Experimental Station on the land, has developed 47 hectares which are being used for educational purposes and staff housing.
“The college is using another 34.5 hectares for agriculture. However, a significant part of the land, representing 24% of the entire G-Item 1060, has been illegally subdivided and sold. Consequent to this unlawful subdivision and excisions, about 900 plots have been illegally laid out on the land, with 426 plots either fully developed or at various stages of construction.
“Plots of land within the College Administrative and Staff Housing Area have also been sold, and private facilities such as an Event Centre, a Petrol Station and Private Residential Houses have been developed therein.
“The satellite images of the site show that the land allocated extends beyond the fence, and a physical inspection will further confirm this point. The ABU statement tries to shrink G-Item 1060 from its 1965 size in a vein attempt to pretend that the portion illegally excised and subdivided were never part of the original allocation.
“This is the first time that KASUPDA has seen an instance where a landowner admits ownership of less than his full allocation. These are the facts of the matter. A campaign of blackmail by trade unions and management of the institution will neither alter these facts nor confer immunity for violations of the terms of land allocation.”
It would be recalled that the chairman of the ASUU ABU branch, Prof Haruna Jibril, had alleged that Kaduna State government took over ABU land just as he called for the withdrawal of the degree certificates awarded to Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State.