To make the Land Use Act easier for amendment by the National Assembly, a delegate at the ongoing National Conference, Mr. Emeka Eleh, has again called for the Act to be expunged from the 1999 Constitution.
Eleh, who is representing the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) under the professional bodies group at the conference, argued that the removal of the Act from the constitution would not only make the processes for its implementation easier, but business friendly.
The delegate, who is also the immediate past president of the NIESV), said the estate surveyors’ body agreed with the proposal, which incidentally had also been proposed by at least four committees at the conference, noted that there was no need to fear because the Act would still remain a federal law which can only be amended by the National Assembly.
He stated that part of the clamour for the amendment of the Act is for land matters to be placed on the Concurrent List in the constitution to make it possible for states to adapt the Act to suit their peculiar requirements while retaining its main essence/provisions.
Eleh stated that the clamour for the removal of the Act from the constitution is not intended to dilute its provisions but also to make it easy to be amended to enable it achieve its set goals.
“As is the rule no state even in exercising its powers under the constitution can make laws that will run contrary to any provision of the Land Use Act even though it is no longer a part of the constitution. Land matters will now be placed on the concurrent list. This will make it possible for states to adapt the Act to suit their peculiar requirements while retaining its main essence/provisions.”
The delegate contended that the rights and authority vested on state governors to administer the land in their respective states will remain unchanged.
He said an ideal land policy anchored on the Land Use Act would empower Nigerians economically by giving them the power to create wealth from their land holdings.
The delegate said the useful recommendations with regards to compensation which had been accepted by the conference can only be put into effect if the Act is amended.
“It is also pertinent to state that the useful recommendations with regards to compensation which have been accepted by this conference can only be put into effect if the Act is amended. All such amendments will of course be carried out by the National Aassembly – the elected representatives of the Nigerian people following due process.
“We believe that the proposal to remove the Act from the constitution is in order and urge this conference to ratify it.”
“It is in this regard that we support the calls which has been re-echoed in this conference by at least four committees for the Act to be removed from the constitution. The Act shall upon removal from the constitution remain a federal law, placed on the concurrent legislative list.
“This will make it possible for states to be able to make necessary enactments that will make for the smooth operation of the Act in their respective states without altering the main provisions or the main essence of the Act.
“It will also make it possible for National Assembly to effect amendments to the Act as may be appropriate following their laid down procedure. We agree completely with this proposal and urge this conference to ratify it.”