The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has urged stakeholders in land management to identify and address every imaginable problem that has hindered land administration and management in this country.
He gave the charge in Abuja on Monday while declaring open the National Stakeholders Dialogue on Land Reform in Nigeria, organised by the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform (PTCLR).
According to him, a good number of the security issues facing the country, whether clashes between herdsman and farmers, boundary and border disputes or the debate around resource control and fiscal federalism, are firmly rooted in the land.
He said it was essential that we pay full attention to how we “maintain, use and allocate and deploy land’’ for the country to derive maximum value from it and that it became a catalyst, not for anguish and tension, but instead for lasting prosperity.
“In any event if there is one thing we cannot afford to do, it is to bury our heads in the sand and hope that somehow, our land issues will on their own inevitably find resolution.
“We equally cannot afford to act unilaterally, without regard to the wide range of views and opinions held by various stakeholders, as well as the experiences of various countries and peoples who have attempted land reform efforts.’’
The Vice President said that out of the vast land resource of the county only three percent had appropriate titles, saying that something must be done to enable it return to an economic tool.
Osinbajo addressed the criticism around the country’s Land Use Act and noted that regardless of whatever ideology position one took on the ownership and administration of Land, the role of the State was indisputable.
“We can debate the scope of this role, but not the fundamental principle of the presence of the State as the primary guarantor and enforcer of the integrity of the land and property rights that are created from it.
“Consequently to maximise its potential, land requires the consistent operation or implementation of considered policies and laws,’’ he added.