The Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday flagged off the distribution of the newly digitised Certificate of Occupancy (CoO) under the Home Ownership Chartered of Ondo State Scheme (HOCOS).
Akaredolu noted that the HOCOS would ensure transparency, fast-tracking and repositioning of land administration in the state and would boost the economic activities of the people through transactions with financial institutions.
He spoke during the flag-off ceremony of the distribution of the newly digitised CoO to the first set of beneficiaries that was held at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure.
The governor explained that the new CoO under the HOCOS would transform the process of land titling from analogue to digital system, adding that property owners in the state could use their certificate as collaterals in financial transactions.
He maintained that in line with HOCOS objectives, his administration has successfully moved, in an innovative manner, from a five-leaf manually produced CoO to an abridged single-sheet digitised format that is produced with speed, efficiency and accuracy.
He said: “The objective of HOCOS is to make land transactions and titling less cumbersome and transparent to the public through digitisation of processes. We are proud to say that we have achieved this objective.
“Rest assured that we will make the review of land administration policies a continuous process until we achieve perfection. I am glad to inform you that the HOCOS platform has brought about a turnaround in our land titling process with reduction in the unmitigated frustrations and nasty experiences of our people which were imposed by the activities of touts. We have been able to eradicate the associated bottlenecks and loss of revenue.
“Undoubtedly, the scheme will boost the economic activities of our people through subsequent transactions with financial institutions after granting of title which can be easily used as collaterals in financial transactions. The new single-leaf CoO to be distributed today has been designed with the highest technological standard, with the introduction of security features to protect the integrity of the document. It will also enable easy conduct of property search and prevent cyber fraud.
“It is gratifying to disclose that we have not compromised any extant law and professional standard guiding land titling or administration in the introduction of the new digitised certificate.”
He disclosed that his administration has also strengthened land administration sector in the state by recruiting 35 qualified professionals in the fields of architecture, quantity surveying, land surveying, estate management and building to boost the capacity and manpower need by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Lands and Housing.
According to Akeredolu, “this epoch making feat of reducing the process time of CoO in the state and improvement in the quality to one-page digitised document is a landmark achievement that we have strategically worked on to achieve upon our assumption of office, and today, the dream is being fulfilled.”
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Infrastructure, Lands and Housing, Mr. Raimi Aminu, commended Governor Akeredolu for his ability to manage the meager resources to achieve much in the state.
He said that the title documents conferred to all property owners the legal rights to their land resources, describing the HOCOS initiative of the governor as life transforming scheme.
“During the last administration, you will recall that an agency was established called Land Bureau Records. A whole building was given to the Land Bureau Records inside the Governor’s Office here and government spent a lot of money then but nothing came out of it, and this is what they were dreaming of that time. They even brought some expatriates and some people from abroad and they were paying them special salaries but at the end nothing came out of it.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, explained the opportunities, advantages and benefits inherent in the HOCOS program.
Akinterinwa said that title owners could easily approach any bank for money to fund their various businesses with ease.
He added that the program is a life transforming scheme that would improve the fortune of all title owners, including farmers across the state.
The Executive Chairman of the Ondo State Internal Revenue Services, Mr. Tolu Adegbie, appreciated the governor for the laudable initiative.
Also, the Chairman of Ondo State Council of Obas and the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, explained that it took him about six years to process a CoO in the past and lauded Governor Akeredolu for the good ingenuity that has changed the narratives.
Culled from THISDAY