The attention of the Management of Edo State Geographic Information Service,(EDOGIS) has been drawn to the tissue of lies and misinformation about the operations of the Agency, written by one Osazee Edigin, titled: “EDOGIS IN RETROGRESSION” in which he displayed his crass ignorance and poor understanding of what currently obtains in EDOGIS.
Ordinarily, it would have been better to ignore the wishy-washy and poorly written article lacking in focus and facts, but the need to put the records straight and properly guide members of the public has necessitated this reply.
First, it is important to correct the wrong impression by the writer that the current management of EDOGIS deliberately delays the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to applicants. Nothing can be farther from the truth .
As a matter of fact, his claim that some applicants who have been issued offer letters for over six months were yet to get their certificates is not only misleading but borne out of his morbid ignorance of the new process of issuing a C of O in EDOGIS presently. It is also not true that thousands of Certificates of Occupancy were deliberately unattended to. This is absolute falsehood.
For the avoidance of doubt, the current Management of EDOGIS led by the Managing Director, Mrs Osaro Grace Aihie, (ESV) came on board only three months ago in August 2022, not upto six months in office.
It is on record that immediately after taking over from the pioneer MD, the new Management digitised and made seamless the process of obtaining a C of O, thus making it very possible , within 30 working days, to get a C of O in line with the Ease of Doing Business mantra of His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Also, records are there and available for all to verify, that the present MD of EDOGIS, Mrs Osaro Grace Aihie (ESV) who is obviously the object of target of the malicious write up, is a highly Cerebral, no nonsense, thorough-bred Career Civil Servant; a Lawyer and experienced Permanent Secretary and seasoned Administrator who has distinguished herself in Public Service.
Mrs Aihie has a robust track record of unblemished and excellent services to her fatherland in her over three decades of her career as a highly committed and dutiful Civil Servant.
On a weekly basis, She is known to swiftly and diligently treat thousands of files and application forms and she accordingly transmits same to His Excellency, the Governor for his assent. This has evidently accounted for the improved revenue profile from the Agency recently.
In addition to Online application for digital C of O and digitalization of Survey plans there are several other reforms and innovations which the new Management have brought on board to checkmate sharp practices and fast track the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy.
What we have discovered is that, more often than not, some applicants fail to tender or provide the requisite documents for obtaining a C of O while majority of them simply abandon their applications midway for inability to provide the relevant supporting documents.
Obviously, under these conditions, applicants themselves inadvertently delay the process of getting their certificates of Occupancy even under the present dispensation where the process is seamless .
Again, it needs to be sufficiently clarified that, most delays in the issuance of C of O are occasioned by encumbrances arising from pending suits in court, disputes, claims and objections filed by land owners in respect of properties awaiting the processing of C of O.
In such cases, the application is bound to be placed on hold till such matters regarding disputed ownership are disposed off or resolved. Until such a case is concluded, and our Legal Department so advises, there is practically nothing anyone can do to issue a C of O.
Furthermore, there are perculiar cases where the Cadastral Unit of EDOGIS discovers either an overlap with respect to a property in another application or in an existing C of O. Again, in such cases, the application will be placed on hold till the overlap or dispute is resolved by the parties involved. The Agency has a lot of such cases and this certainly, is not a new trend at all.
This is why in the recent past, the Media Unit of EDOGIS embarked on a massive enlightenment which is still ongoing, on our various social media platforms as well as the traditional media, urging members of the public to come forward to conduct Search in EDOGIS before they embark on any land transactions to avoid any form of encumbrances.
The likes of Osazee Edigin, rather than do due diligence and comply with the relevant procedure for getting a C of O as clearly spelt out by the Agency, prefer to be garrulous, self-seeking and tread the part of mischief.
It is , however, gratifying to note that based on the new reforms introduced by the current Management of EDOGIS, overwhelming commendations have continued to pour in from across all divides for the Agency, and critical stakeholders whose property have either been salvaged or secured in the process , are testifying to that effect.
From all indications, the feedback from our applicants on the official social media platforms of the Agency are absolutely heart-warming and very satisfactory.
One therefore wonders where the likes of Osazee Edigin are seeing retrogression instead of the tremendous progress, transparency and great innovations associated with the current EDOGIS management as far as land administration and management in Edo State are concerned.
What is abundantly clear from the disjointed and self-seeking article of the said Osazee Edigin is that he has embarked on a fruitless mission of cheap blackmail to raise false alarm and draw needless attention to himself.
In the process, Edigin has clearly demonstrated in his jaundiced write up, that he does not even know what he is talking about, as he repeatedly kept referring to “Certificate of Occupancy” as “Certificate of Occupation”. Poor Edigin!
Members of the public should disregard his attempt to mislead them through his warped write up done in very bad faith , aimed at discrediting the current EDOGIS management that has, within a short span, tremendously improved on the solid foundation of the Pioneer MD, Arch. Frank Evbuomwan.
We urge the Public and especially relevant stakeholders in the Built Industry to continue to have faith in, and do business with the Government Agency noted for its excellent services anchored on global best practices .
- TUNDE EIGBIREMOLEN,