Written by Austine ELEMUE

Bello canvasses alternative resolution of land disputes

Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has called on legal practitioners and residents to consider alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in resolving the numerous land cases that are currently pending in FCT courts. 
The minister who made the call when officials of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Abuja chapter, led by its chairman, Barrister Ezenwa Anumnu, paid him a visit in his office, also noted that these protracted land disputes give negative perception of Nigeria as a very difficult place to do business. 
Bello insisted that some of these land cases could have been settled if there had been adequate discussions for out of court settlements. 
According to him, “some of the cases that are pending in court are cases that could really be sorted out just by discussions and that is why we have to encourage alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for these issues to be settled out of court.” 
Bello assured that institutions within the FCT Administration would be strengthened to take care of noticeable lapses and promote due process in handling all land related matters. 
He said the focus of the FCT Administration, among others, is to make the process of doing business much easier in order to move Nigeria’s level on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index to a better level than what it is today. 
“We want to move by at least 20 points from where we are now and we realized that land related transactions constitute a very important measure of how systems are judged, whether they are efficient and user friendly or not,” the Minister stressed.   
Speaking earlier, the chairman, Unity Branch of NBA, Barrister Anumnu, said they were happy with the laudable strides the FCT administration is making in terms of cleanliness of the FCT and other progressive things that are happening within the Territory. 
His words: “We are in touch with the common people in FCT and I can assure you that the responses are positive and encouraging.”

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