Nasarawa: Implementing NAGIS General Land Use And Detailed District Plans

After almost two years geographical mapping, at the cost of over N300 million, Nasarawa State has created a rational pattern for physical development as contained in its General Land Use and Detailed District Plans.

This is aimed at harnessing land potentials, natural and man-made endowments in the three selected town areas of Keffi, Lafia and Karu for sustained development with Lafia, the state capital having a total land area of 1600 square-kilometre designated for development while Karu and Keffi have 1268 and 400 square kilometres respectively.

With details of general land use and detailed district plans ready for implementation, Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura is poised to streamline physical development programmes and enhance development potentials for the towns as well as boost the economic base of the state.

The commissioner of Lands and Town Planning, Mr. Sonny Agassi, said the goal of the plan is to present opportunities for sustainability of development taking into cognisance the natural resource endowment, economic base, population growth, opportunities and threats.

Agassi noted that the design contained in the detailed district plan is tailored to be distinctive, sustainable and guarantee strong and safe neighbourhoods. When implemented in the various designated areas, it would produce cities that reflect its historical and current status of modern hierarchy in the state.

He explained that Governor Almakura is bringing his wealth of experience in the real estate to bear as the proposed cities would bear qualities of modern best practices where land use, natural environment and the built environment are blended together to produce greener and healthier habitation.

This is in view of the fact that living habits lead to problems such as the over use of natural resources,  destruction of the ecosystem, pollution,  growing social inequality and large scale climate change.

Apart from taking due cognisance of aesthetics where the designs of buildings and spaces contribute to create beautiful scenery,  the NAGIS detailed district plans guarantee the availability of efficient,  affordable and available transport choices.

A breakdown of the general land use and detailed district plan of Karu shows that 12 districts have been delineated for development. Nine of the districts have been earmarked for residential development while one each is allocated for public and institutional development, commercial and industrial development and regional resort centre.

In Keffi, a total of eight districts have been delineated for development.  Five of those have been designated for residential development, while one each is earmarked for public institutions and educational village with one district being reserved for Agricultural development.

In Lafia, the state capital, 17 districts have been set aside with most of it being designated for residential development.  One reserved for passenger airport and another for the university.

The existing core settlements in all the three designated areas is to undergo renewal and upgrade, which has already commenced. The other selected areas for immediate development are based on parameters which include current land values, proximity to the existing business hub, flexibility in linking with existing development and topographical opportunities and constraints.

Mr Peter Ritchie, GIS consultant, explained that the NAGIS plan intends to integrate the disciplines of land use and transport planning to explore a wide range of aspects of the already built and social environments.

He said a key role of this project is in advancement of Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura’s urban renewal template and regeneration of older parts of the selected cities by adopting urban planning methods.

Mr Agassi adds that the detailed district plans and general land use blueprint aims to exploit the natural and man-made potentials of Karu, Keffi and Lafia with a view to transforming them to attractive, competitive and commercial nerve centres of the state.

He said the plan has identified local resources and recommended local economic development projects that will promote the progress of other settlements in the state.

He stressed that growth of unplanned settlements has increased considerably with significant shortfalls in infrastructural provisions which spurred Governor Almakura to take necessary steps to correct this anomaly.

The land use and detailed district plans lay out proposals highlighting the physical, social and economic needs and aspirations of the state though corresponding challenges are anticipated especially as it affects changing the mindset of the public towards seeing the bigger picture and embracing the overall benefit of the project.

Another integral part of this detailed master plan for the development of land potential in the state is the Karu-Keffi commercial precinct which is designed to rely on the Abuja-Keffi road to boost economic activities along the Abuja corridor which offers enormous trade and investment opportunities.

By this, the road is to be expanded to accommodate its proposed service as linear downtown multi-purpose area running through the Karu-Keffi planning area along the Abuja-Keffi expressway.  This would span between 50-100 meters from the highway centreline based on the peculiar nature of development across the affected area. The precinct would be characterised with high-rise buildings, mostly commercial, as well as other uses on both sides of the road.

From the survey, as obtained by LEADERSHIP Friday, affected structures within the corridor using the aerial photography showed that a total of 4,722 structures would be affected with 1,336 within the 50m buffer, while 356 would be partially affected.

Within the 100m buffer, a total of 2,678 structures would be affected while 352 would be partially touched.

To arrest the perennial problems associated with traffic congestion, terminals would be located at specific spots to serve as drop/pick up points for passengers who would use the rail system to run beside the highway of the precincts. It is also expected to serve as switch point to the BRT model split.

Due to the vast width of the road which would comprise the expressway, a switch point and railway terminals, overhead bridges would be constructed at strategic points to enhance safety of commuters and reduce traffic congestion on the roads.

The formulation of the general land use and detailed plan blueprint became imperative as a result of the haphazard and indiscriminate physical development taking place in urban areas in major city centres in the state,  NAGIS second phase will effectively control measures to curb the trend.  The ugly development pattern was most visible in the Mararaba-Karu-Keffi axis as a consequence of the proximity of the area to the Federal Capital Territory.

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The four years contract entered into by the

Nasarawa State government under the Nasarawa

Development Platform (NDP) terminated on the

19th April, 2016. DONATUS NADI, takes a look at

how the initiative has revolutionised general land

administration and boosted the revenue generation

capacity of the state.


In a state wide broadcast on 1st October, 2012,

Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura stated that the development

of the abundant land resource of the state was a singular

priority of his government.

For this reason, he vigorously pursued a policy on land 

administration through the completion of the Nasarawa 

Geographic Information Service (NAGIS) project.  

Four years on, after the implementation of the first 

phase of this project, the state has come to the 

realisation of its development control drive, including

 the urban renewal programme.

The development platform has three components which 

include: Digital Area Mapping (DAM), Nasarawa Geographic

Information Service (GIS), and district planning.

The first component, the Digital Aerial Mapping, which 

was undertaken by Aeroprecisa Limited, has completed the

aerial digital mapping of the state, the first of its kind

in the country. They have also been processed and 

computerised in a database for easy administration of land

resources in the state.


The provision of geographic information service, which 

was the second component, was undertaken by GIS Transport,

which computerised and digitally captured all land 

documents processed and issued by the state ministry of

Lands and Urban Planning.


This component has also seen to the introduction of a new 

Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), which is now easily 

obtained through a simplified process within the shortest 

possible time.Another component is the implementation of 

Lafia headquarters and Karu service centre. In this 

direction, the general land use and detailed district 

plans have been produced for implementation at the cost 

of over N300 million. With revenue generation as one of 

its centrepiece, the Nasarawa Geographic Information 

Service (NAGIS) has revolutionised the Internal Revenue 

Generation base of the state, generating four billion 

naira in four years.

Records of revenue returns on land administration in the 

state shows that as at 2007 when the previous 

administration of Governor Aliyu Akwe Doma assumed office,

what accrued to the state from land administration stood 

at N29, 283, 254.71. After efforts to develop the land 

administration mechanism met little success, as at 2011 

when he was leaving office after four years, the sum of 

N34,810, 681.02 was realised, although the highpoint in 

this effort was recorded in 2010 when it got 

N53,739, 195.09. When Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura 

assumed office in 2011, he set about repositioning land 

administration to tap into its rich potentials and within 

one year the state realised over 1000 percent of its 

previous earnings on land.

As at 2012 the total sum of N317, 426, 306.29 was paid 

into the coffers of government as proceeds from land 



This investment which the state made at the cost of N2.7 

billion yielded N448, 020, 842.68 in 2013 representing 

an increase of over N130 million.

The land sector scaled the half­billion mark in revenue 

generation on land administration in 2014 when it realised

the sum of N608, 689, 414.32.

The state commissioner of Lands and Town Planning, 

Mr Sonny Agassi, explained that the year 2015 was peculiar

 not only

to Nasarawa State but all across the nation as the economy

suffered the backlash of economic recession occasioned by

the crash in oil price at the global market.

He said, like any other commercial interest, land 

administration through procurement of titles and servicing

of rents suffered setbacks and as a result the land sector

recorded N534,238, 854.37,  representing a marginal drop 

of N74 million. Explaining further, Mr Agassi noted that 

although there was a shortfall in the collected revenue, 

the revenue generated for the year 2015 stood at N1, 856,

723, 664.00. He said the shortfall experienced in 

collected revenue was as a result of the inability of 

those who were ready to claim them as a result of the 

economic crunch.


The commissioner of Lands and Town Planning, who doubles 

as the project manager of NAGIS, explained that it a

temporary setback, the public has continued to appreciate

the need to get titles on their lands. To this end the 

sum of N346,160, 800.00 was realised in the first quarter 

2016 although only N79 million has been collected.

Records obtained by LEADERSHIP Friday show that between 

1999­2007, Governor Abdullahi Adamu’s administration

produced and issued a total of 3, 621 Rights of Occupancy

(R of Os) within eight years. In Aliyu Doma’s four years,

between 2007 and 2011, a total of 717 R of Os were 

produced and issued. Within Almakura’s five years in 

office between 2011 to date, 3,701 were produced and 3, 

075 were collected, leaving 626 uncollected.

Similarly, in Abdullahi Adamu’s eight year reign from 

1999­2007, a total of 214 Certificates of Occupancy 

(C of Os) were

printed, signed and issued, while his successor, Doma, 

issued only 24 in four years. From 2011 to date, through

the rejuvenated NAGIS land reform policy, Governor 

Almakura printed 1443 C of Os, signed 698,

and issued 552 with 146 uncollected.

Other reforms in land administration imply that 

application for statutory titles on lands in Nasarawa 

State must now be accompanied by proper survey plan in 

the bid to fully implement government’s reforms in lands 

management and administration in line with international

best practices.


The introduction of the new system is in strict 

compliance with relevant laws, particularly CAP 425 Laws

of the Federation, as well as the regulation by Surveyors 

Council of Nigeria (SURCON).

Presently, NAGIS has entered its second phase with clear 

mandate to optimise its operations and committed 

development of its Lafia headquarters and Karu service 

centre. Special emphasis in this phase is placed on the 

implementation of the general land use and detailed 

district plans with the aim to create a rational pattern 

for physical development.  It is intended to harness the 

natural land potentials of Karu, Keffi and Lafia. 

The designated areas of development in the selected local

governments include 1600sq/km in Lafia, 1, 268sq/km

in Karu and 400sq/km in Keffi.

With the commencement of the second phase, Governor 

Almakura stressed that: “It is at this point that we will 

station development control to stop the growth of slums 

in Nasarawa State. It is at this point that we will tailor

planned development to gradually make us a decent and 

liveable city as our big neighbour, Abuja”.

He explained that with a land size of 8,000 square metres,

Abuja records receipts of about N1.5 billion through the 

same initiative called AGIS. With NAGIS fully developed, 

his projection of revenue receipts is between two billion

naira and five billion naira, monthly of rents from the 

land size of 27,000 square metres – over three times the 

size of Abuja.


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A 28-man team of professionals in Lands Management and Administration from the Kaduna State Government on Sunday visited the Nasarawa Geographic Information System to understudy the computerised lands system being executed by Governor Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa State.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who pioneered the execution of the Geographic Information System while he served at the Federal Capital Territory, is interested in awarding a contract to execute the same project in Kaduna State, although the project has not been officially unveiled.

A team of management and personnel officers from the Kaduna GIS, however, visited NAGIS, being executed by the Nasarawa State Government, to understudy the project and replicate it.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Mr. Sonny Agassi, who received the Kaduna State delegation, hailed El-Rufai’s passion and commitment to lands reform, saying that the governor was severally sought for opinion when Al-Makura initiated NAGIS for execution.

He, however, affirmed that when the NAGIS Service Centre in Mararaba, the gateway to Abuja, was presented for commissioning in May, 2013, El-Rufai was sought to honour the ceremony because he had emerged as the “architect of modern GIS execution in Nigeria.”

He hailed the initiative by the Kaduna State governor as one to bring about health competition.

“We are going to be competitive. We gave AGIS the run for its money. And now that the Kaduna State governor is initiating GIS in that state. We can only hope KAGIS will raise the level of competition by giving us the run for our money and fame,” Agassi, a Canadian, who Al-Makura invited to supervise the project as Commissioner of Lands and Urban Development, said.

The commissioner was accompanied by the NAGIS implementation team, including Roland Klaus and Heiko Howey, a GIS consultant, Peter Ritchie, a senior consultant, as well as Mario Bajouk, an Information and Communications Technology consultant with GIS Transport one of the firms in the consortium led by Siraj Engineering Consultants.

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Studying to make entry for the next paper presentation at one of those international conferences on cities development may well be called a hobby for Ibrahim Usman Jibril. A technocrat, reading for leading and for writing has held him away from much of public life, a place where many of his colleagues dwelled with utmost publicity.

The media dwelled on the names that made much public appearances especially in politics, to include Rotimi Ameachi of Rivers; Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Chris Ngige of Anambra, Kayode Fayemii of Ekiti, Abdulrahman Danbazau of Kano, Lai Mohammed of Kwara, Audu Ogbeh of Benue Aisha Alhassan of Taraba, Kemi Adeosun of Ogun, Solomon Dalung of Plateau, Udo Udo Udoma of Akwa Ibom, and Barrister James Ocholi of Kogi and so on.

Jibril does not fit into this category of ministers-designate the media generated reports about. Not many national newspapers and the broadcast could even spell his name correctly, or put them in the right order. One month on, the media still mixes his name, as they still throw up pictures of some persons other than the minister-designate from Nasarawa State, as though he does not exist. No fewer than four different pictures of other persons in Hausa/Fulani attire have had to go up in the media to support articles about this minister.

He is not one in the Nigerian public eye. But at the global level, Jibril does not disappear from the radar as, yearly, he is being sought after as a resource person at conferences convened across the world to seek solutions to habitat crises facing certain parts of the world, and how to better those parts where planned cities have being developed. President Muhammadu Buhari must have done a thorough search to locate this quiet technocrat, locked away from the Nigerian public life for years.

Jibril had already concluded arrangements to leave his desk as Project Manager of one of Africa’s best executed Geographic Information System (GIS), called NAGIS, which is being implemented by Nasarawa State government; and to retire to his quiet town of Nasarawa, west of Nasarawa State where his farm is located. He has lost all cattle to the escalating menace of rustling over the years, but the farm still boasts of one of the largest poultry in the state, supplying products at competitive speed. The fishery section suffered some setbacks because of a misapplication of chemicals by the farm keepers, but the sheep section is doing great in the competitive market.

At NAGIS, a computerised land administration and management where Jibril, the Project Manager is part of the team turning the state from agrarian to a sophisticated society, the technocrat has rounded up the training of young graduates to take over from him.

“I have read Tom Peters, an American writer on business management practices. He said leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. That is what we are doing here at NAGIS,” Jibril had said in 2013 when he conducted the Surveyor General of the Federation, Nigeria (SGOF), Professor Peter Nwilo and members of the Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SUCON) round the project. He had led the visiting team into the various sections of the NAGIS Service Centre in Mararaba, at the gateway to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and handed them to the young graduates manning them to take the visitors through the relevant and sophisticated GIS technology.

“The NAGIS implementing partners trained this young men and women. We decided on this deliberate training so they can take over after me,” he had said. The team of surveyors returned to rank Nasarawa State top among the 36 states and the FCT in the implementation of lands reforms to conform to world best practices. Inside his office which is overlooking the rest of the sections and units of the service centre, the GIS specialist is almost done with parking his personal belongings – a collection of books worth millions of Naira. There are books on humanities, journals and digests, but Jibril has spent the last three decades collecting and reading more books on the computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying land-related data, as well as urbanization programmes across the world. There are also a collection of books on the teachings of Islam.

But the surprises came, whe the Senate read out the names on the first batch of ministerial nominees sent to by President Buhari. “I was trying to round up a draft of the next paper presentation I intend to make entry for at the next World Cities Summit. There were two computers before me. Books and folders competed for space on my desk; newspapers of the day waiting at one end of the desk for perusal. My phones were completely buried such that I couldn’t hear them ring. A young man walked in and asked if I watched the Senate proceeding. I told him I was too buried in the studies to complete my draft of the paper presentation I planned making proposals for. He said I was announced as a ministerial nominee,” Jibril was quoted to have said with surprise at his nomination. With over 30 years working experience, 25 of which he spent at the Federal Capital Administration (FCTA), where he retired as a Deputy Director, Jibril has a background that has exposed him to the world as a resource person in cities development, having coordinated GIS, cadastral cleaning of all of the FCT, area councils’ cadastral planning, harmonization and development of Land Information Systems (LIS) for the FCT Area Councils, and other related professional duties both in FCT and in Nasarawa State.

A holder of M.Sc. in Lands Resources (with Specialization on Land Administration), Jibril proceeded to obtain a certificate in Principles of GIS from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, (ITC), Enschede, The Netherlands in 2007. He also attended an Advance Training Program in Gavle –Sweden on Land Administration and Geographic Information, organized by the National Lands Survey of Sweden. With this background, Jibril qualified more than a decade and a half ago, to stand at international conferences across the cities of the world, where he is reputed to have presented 14 papers before world delegations at different times and locations. Before his appointment, Jibril was in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa in August where he stood before an international delegation to present a paper at the Africa Geospatial Conference. The title of that paper is: Spatial Data Infrastructure as a tool for Efficient Land Revenue Generation: The case of Nasarawa State. Earlier in May of this year, he spoke to another international delegation through a paper entitled: “Planning and Land Administration Challenges in Developing New Cities: The Abuja Experience in Nigeria.” The location was Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, and the event was the FIG Working Week. Known as International Federation Surveyors, which he is a member, FIG is aUnited Nations and World Bank recognized non-governmental organization of national member associations and covers the whole range of professional fields within the global surveying community.

In Washington DC, in the United States in March of 2015, Jibril presented: “Spatial Data Infrastructure, A Tool for Effective Land Administration & Management: – Lessons from Nasarawa State Experience,” to the 16th World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty. In December, 2014, he presented: “Development of Spatial Data Infrastructure: Nasarawa State Experience, presented at Africa Geospatial Forum,” in Lagos, same year he had discussed: “Nasarawa Development Platform: A Progress Report on the Development of Spatial Data Infrastructure in Nasarawa State – Nigeria, at FIG General Congress Held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“Nasarawa Development Platform: A Strategy for Securing Land Rights, Improving Land use And Efficient Generation Of Land Revenue,” was a paper he presented at the 14th World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington DC, US, March 2013. “Meeting the Challenges of Housing Needs and Development in Abuja, Nigeria” came at FIG Working Week in Rome – Italy, in June 2012. “The Return of the Greens in Abuja, Nigeria’s New Capital City” was presented at FIG General Congress, Sydney, Australia, in April 2010. In May of the previous year, Jibril presented: “Squatter Resettlement/Relocation Program in Abuja, Nigeria and the Issue of Land Title Security,” at FIG Working Week, Eliat, in Israel.

Jibril co-wrote: “Land Administration as a Tool for Good Governance: The AGIS Way,” with Roland Klaus, a GIS specialist and General Manager of GIS Transport at the XXIII FIG Congress, Munich, Germany, in October, 2006. “Computerization of the Cadastral and Land Registry:- TheAbuja Experience,” was done previously in March of same year at FIG Regional Conference, Accra, Ghana. Same event, Jibril presented “Resettlement Issues, Squatter Settlement and the Problems of Land Administration in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital.”

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