Kaduna State government on Monday said it took over 74 hectares of land measuring 338 hectares belonging to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) because there was an “unapproved change of land use and unacceptable violation” of the purpose for which the G-Item (ownership certificate) of the land was originally allocated for.
The state government said the land, which was originally allocated in 1965 to the Northern Veterinary Experimental Station and succeeded by the College of Agriculture and Animal Science of ABU had been unlawfully subdivided, with 81 hectares of the land sold into 900 illegally laid out plots while 426 plots have either been fully developed or are at various stages of construction.
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Taking journalists on an inspection tour of the contentious land at Mando, Igabi Local Government Area of the state, the Director General of Kaduna Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA), Malam Ismail Umaru Dikko, said based on G-Item No. 1060, the College of Agriculture and Animal Science had only developed 47 hectares of the land for educational purpose and staff housing with another 34.5 hectares for agriculture.
Dikko said the un-utilised land has constituted a security threat to the entire metropolis, which necessitated the need to introduce mitigating measures such as re-planning the entire land in line with the Urban Renewal Programme and to comply with the reviewed Kaduna Master Plan Law, 2016.
He said in order to avoid instances where more portions of the land are subdivided illegally, the state government had mapped out 74 hectares, which would be developed for residential purposes with facilities such as cemeteries, markets and hospitals.
The KASUPDA DG however said the College of Agriculture and Animal Science will instead be allocated land for agriculture in the Kangimi area of Igabi LGA, earmarked for its animal husbandry.
According to Dikko, ABU had tried to portray the fenced portion of the land as the total extent of the land allocated under G-item 1060 even though satellite images of the site show that the actual land allocated extends beyond the fence.
Daily Trust reports that the land has been a subject of contention between the state government and ABU with the university accusing the state government of attempting to grab its land measuring about 196.25 hectares against what the government says is 338 hectares.