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17th inaugural Lecture: Paltry 3% Registered Nigerian Land Mass Stunting Economic Growth, FUOYE Don Raises Alarm



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… Urges NASS To Address The Issue

By Wole Balogun
S.A Media to VC

A Professor of Law of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof. Kolapo Omidire has raised the alarm that only 3% of the Nigerian land mass has been duly registered adding that the sad development is stunting germane economic growth by making 97% of the country’s land mass unavailable for mortgage banking and other related businesses that would have brought great development to the nation economically.

He therefore urged the National Assembly to urgently address the long time issue disclosing that the inclusion of the Land Use Act as enactments in the constitution was largely responsible for the stunted registration of the country’s land mass.

Prof Omidire also raised germane issues with the wobbled structure of the judiciary causing painful delay for banks to recover money they lend out to faulty borrowers.

The Professor of Law who equally has years of corporate experience in banking, made the remarks for national development during the 17th Inaugural lecture of the University which was delivered by him. Entitled : “Prospects of the Law in Resolving The Challenges of Retail Banking in Nigeria”, the lecture addressed issues with retail banking and proffered solutions that the Law could offer, to solve the problems. It held at the faculty of Science large lecture hall on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Fielding questions from journalists after the lecture, Prof. Omidire said: “My concern is about the poor people , people of the lower segment of the society, individuals and small scale industries. Banks collect deposits from them , but unfortunately, they can’t get money to borrow and if they cannot borrow what are the challenges?
“Also, when people borrow money and are not willing to pay and the judiciary which should recover such money are not well structured, debtors take advantage of such to delay in paying their money. And the debts continue to piles I also addressed the issue of identification systems , our database. Yes, government has put a structure in place to address that but as at today, we have about 13 different agencies addressing that. Meanwhile, someone borrows money, banks do not have a way to trace and track the one who borrowed the money and refuses to pay, lf we cannot address that , it will be difficult for the banks to get back the money debtors are owing them and such money would not be available to lend to other persons. Banks will suffer and depositors who owe the money will suffer.“

Urging the National Assembly to rise to the occasion regarding rhe challenges with the Land Use Act, Prof. Omidire tasked the federal lawmakers to urgently address the challenges, adding that the Act has not be reviewed in the last 46 years. He said : “Wehave the Land Use Act which unfortunately is so difficult to amend because it is added as if it is a section of the constitution . The National Assembly has to address that urgently . As l pointed out, only 3% of the land mass have been resgistered in Nigeria meaning that there is so much to do regarding the resgistration of lands in the country. If the land are not registered, they will not be available as collateral and available to borrow loans which would have boosted our economy.”

The erudite Professor of Law itemized and enumerated critical issues that bedevil retail banking in Nigeria. Among which according to him are failure to devise appropriate legal framework, importer citizen identification system and ineffective judiciary structure .Prof. Omidire gave other recommendations to surmounting the challenges to include: ..” for the financial system to facilitate economic growth, it must be linked with a functional legal framework which support lenders to either colect loans or realize the underlying collateral when borrowers refuse to repay loans.

“There is a need to review the legal Framework pertaining to the regulation of the operations of insurance companies, and pension fund administrators to invest in long term real estate transactions. A secondary mortgage market can be developed by creating an enabling environment for the issuance of bonds for real estate development and mortgage finance, all states and Federal Capital Territory should seriously commence a process for the registration of the land within their respective jurisdictions which will make it possible to release the value therein for the purpose of mortgages for residential or commercial properties , for start-up and working capital for businesses , and for many development purposes.

An amendment of the Land Use Act is possible and should be encouraged by every Nigerian. The first course of action is to amend section 315 of the Constitution removing the Land Use Act from the enactments cited therein. Thereafter, the Land Ise Act would have the character of an Act of the National Assembly, which would could be amended or repealed as circumstance may require.”
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina pronounced Prof. Omidire a substantive Professor of Law of FUOYE after he had delivered the lecture for exactly 52 minutes.
The August occasion was well attended by the University community comprising students of the faculty of Law, lecturers and principal officers of the University. There were also family members of the Lecturer, especially his wife, Prof. Funke Omidire and a handful of the classmates of the lecturer at the Eko Boys High School, Lagos who had become highly successful in various fields of human endeavour and who said they had honoured the inaugural lecturer because of his immense positive contribution to the progress of their life. Quite surprisingly, the VC, FUOYE is also one of the old classmates of the lecturer at the Eko Boys High School as well as the popular actor, Yemi Shodimu. They all had an interesting and nostalgic interaction about their school days during a reception organized for the guests at the University’s Management Science event hall shortly after the lecture.

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