Bayelsa State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson at the weekend in Yenagoa inaugurated an 11-member Special Task Force on Identification and Recovery of Government Property with a mandate to recover government property illegally acquired by private individuals, communities and corporate organizations within and outside the state.
The Taskforce has two weeks to submit an interim report to government for it to take necessary action.
A statement issued at the end of the inauguration by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, named Chief Iboro Ige Idaba as chairman of the special task force, while Moses Teibowei is to serve as Secretary.
Other members include Solicitor-General of the state, Preye Agedah; Surveyor-General, Moses Doubeni and Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Chief Boma Spero Jack.
The members of the Taskforce also includes President of Ijaw Youth Council, Udengs Eradiri; Surveyor Assembly Goin, Loveday Owubokiri (representing the Nigeria Police), Assistant Commandant Ogbole Fredrick (representing the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps) and Chief Wisdom Franklin.
Governor Dickson expressed displeasure over the rate of cases of encroachment on government’s property by individuals and communities and called on them to identify and take inventory of all government lands.
He said other terms of reference for the task force include, identification of government lands which process of acquisition has been completed and duly gazetted as well as those not yet concluded.
The special task force also has the responsibility of identifying and recovering lands that government has already indicated interest for purposes of acquisition and land ceded to Bayelsa in the old Rivers state.
Also, It is expected to determine levels of encroachment if any and take steps to retrieve and recover such lands as well as initiating the process of perfecting all such government landed titles.
Dickson urged the task force to prepare a comprehensive register comprising all government acquired lands and forwarded it to the offices of the state Physical Planning, Solicitor General of the state, Secretary to the State Government, Bayelsa Geographical and Information System (BGIS) and Surveyor General.
He charged them to create the necessary awareness on the need for members of the public to be aware of government lands and the need for them to make relevant enquiries from the relevant agencies before purchasing any land.