ABU land: We’ll allocate fresh land to varsity – Kaduna Govt

The Kaduna State Government has said there is no going back on its decision to recover the disputed piece of land from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

However, the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority said it would allocate another land to the institution for the purpose of education.

The ABU had been at loggerheads with the state government over alleged encroachment on the institution’s land at the College of Agriculture and Animal Science, Mando, in the state capital.

The KASUPDA had accused the ABU management of “illegal excision, subdivision and sale of part sof the plot of land covered by G-Item No. 1060 currently occupied by the College of Agriculture and Animal Science, Mando, Kaduna.”

While addressing journalists shortly before the assessment tour of the disputed land on Monday, the Director-General, KASUPDA, Ismail Dikko said it was strange that those who were supposed to protect institutional land would excise part of it for illegal purposes.

He noted that against this background, the state government would allocate another land to the college at the Kangimi area of the state earmarked for such endeavours in the Kaduna master plan.

To further protect the disputed land from being sold out to individuals and corporate organisations, the KASUPDA boss said the government would build residential houses on it, adding that the re-planning “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.”

Dikko said, “It is strange that people, who are supposedly out to protect institutional land, will not exercise any curiosity regarding the unauthorised excisions that have occurred on the land or demand that their institution investigate how it happened.

“Till date, most of the 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 re-planned in line with the reviewed Kaduna Master Plan Law, 2016 and the Urban Renewal Programme. This re-planning 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 master plan.”

“G-Item 1060, measuring 338 hectares, was allocated to the 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 per cent of the entire G-Item 1060, has been illegally subdivided and sold. Consequent to this unlawful subdivision and excision, about 900 plots have been illegally laid out on the land, with 426 plots either fully developed or at various stages of construction.”

He added, “Plots of land within the college’s 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 unlawful subdivisions, excisions and sale of plots were done without the consent or approval of the Kaduna 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.

“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.

“KASUPDA has noted the press release issued by the Ahmadu Bello University signed by the Director, Public Affairs Directorate and dated March 10, 2022. That statement sought to portray the fenced portion as the total extent of the land allocated under the G-item 1060 in a futile bid to conceal the unlawful excisions and subdivisions that have taken place at the College of Agriculture, Mando.

“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 the G-Item 1060 from its 1965 size in a vain attempt to pretend that the portions 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 violation of the terms of land allocation.”

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