Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has directed the state Ministry of Lands and Survey and the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) to stop forthwith illegal acquisition of land belonging to University of Jos.
Lalong gave the directive on Monday in Jos when he received a report of the committee set up to investigate the encroachment of the institution’s land.
He said that his administration would ensure the recovery of all illegally-acquired government property from affected individuals.
The governor stressed the need for relevant agencies to be proactive so as to make investigative committees on land disputes arising from illegal occupation unnecessary.
He warned that the encroachment of government land by residents must stop immediately.
“The moment we allow encroachment on public property, we are killing our future.
“Tomorrow, government will want land to construct essential infrastructure and they will tell you that the land belongs to somebody,” the governor said.
Lalong, while commending the committee members for carrying out the assignment effectively, assured them that he would study the report and ensure that the recommendations got implemented.
The Committee Chairman, Mr Philip Nyam, said that his committee was set up on June 6 to look into the disputes over land at Naraguta, Jos North Local Government Area, belonging to the university.
Nyam, who is also the Chairman of Jos North Local Council, said that committee’s terms of reference included ascertaining if the disputed land was part of the area acquired by the institution from the Nigeria Mining Corporation.
He said that his committee was also mandated to find out if any compensation was paid and then make recommendations.
The chairman said that in carrying out the assignment, the committee was intimidated by some illegal occupants of the land.
“However, the committee carried out its assignment not minding the provocation and intimidation,” he added. (NAN)
Edited by Shittu Obassa and ‘Wale Sadeeq