What is KANGIS and why did the Kano State government set up the agency?Kano Geographic Information Systems is an agency set up by the Kano state government under the able leadership of Engineer Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso to primarily sanitize the land administration system in Kano. We do this by computerizing the operations and records, the end result of which will sanitize the system and enable us to work faster, more efficient and eliminate forgeries, double allocations, double file numbering, clear bureaucratic bottlenecks and other problems bedeviling land administration in Kano. We do this by using GIS platforms which essentially are powerful solutions for manipulating maps, images, ortho photos and other geospatial data. It is two years now since you came on board. Can you say that you have achieved all that? It’s a gradual process you know, but definitely we have done a lot within the short period. We have established the GIS infrastructure and nettechture for Kano, we have also digitalised the whole UTM sheets of Kano. These are gigantic strides if you know what it takes to do that. Some states have spent billions of naira and more than six years trying to build a GIS platform but up till now nothing on ground. Kano State government had since cancelled all old certificates of occupancy. KANGIS is issuing new data driven and more secured certificates in its stead. We have the basic infrastructure to create a GPRS street traffic guide, agricultural and mining Cadastral for Kano as well as for education and health facilities.Getting a Certificate of Occupancy from the state Ministry of Lands used to be very frustrating and time consuming, is the situation better and how long does it take now?It depends on a number of issues. We started the recertification exercise a little over a year ago. It involves title holders surrendering their old Cs-of-O for the new one, a computerized one sheet data driven and well secured certificate.The period you spend before getting a new C-of-O depends on the nature of your title. All things being equal, it’s two weeks, but somebody with a letter of grant or certificate that is not bearing his name and has not done the mandatory registration of deed of assignment, will take more time for that person to get a C-of-O. Some people will come with many complicated issues and would want to wait and get the new C-of-O. What we call complicated issue, for example, the certificate was mortgaged at Savannah Bank, Lobi Bank, Bank of the North or any of the non existing banks and there is no evidence of deed of release from anywhere. This understandably should take longer time to process.Do you mean you are yet to commence the issuance of C-of-O through GIS?We’ve commenced issuance through GIS since March 2014 and in fact, the whole of KANGIS is a GIS platform. And all our operations are on GIS platform.With GIS, how many Cs-of-O do you issue weekly?Well, averagely in a week we do 100 or so. Recertification is the same thing with the issuance of C-of-O; issuance is the end product of the recertification.There are reports that issuance of C-of-O is slow because you’re yet to migrate from the analogue method of processing of the certificate to GIS?It’s not true that we’re yet to migrate to digital method of processing of C-of-O. We don’t have anything analogue here. You can see, even our doors are digital, our staplers and staff attendance registers are all digital (laughter).How much are you generating for Kano State government monthly?We currently generate N60 million on average monthly. It’s not this amount when we started. Initially, it was N20 million. It moved to N30 million and now we’re generating N60 million plus. Before the establishment of KANGIS the state government was making less than N20 million from land revenue monthly. We’re improving daily. As you know there is a general lull in economic activities in Kano because of the security situation but things are bound to improve soon. There’re plenty of revenue potentials which we’ll exploit as we consolidate our operations gradually.How far have you gone in tackling the problem of C-of-O racketeers? We’ve reduced it to the barest minimum. With GIS technology, it’s very difficult to forge a land document. People more often than not fall prey to fraudsters on their own because they want things done easier, faster or cheaper. People should endeavor to come and do their land transactions by themselves. The process is now more efficient and customer friendly. Anybody who subjects himself to being duped by touts and “staff agents” should only blame himself.Aside from land management or administration, what are the key benefits of GIS?A Geographic Information System is a new concept and it’s used in most major cities of the world to enhance city management and running of government businesses but here in Nigeria we restrict it to land administration. In a general term, GIS is more than land administration, it encompasses almost all facets of our daily life and governance. You can’t compare GIS with the use of analogue system because what you can do in a month using analogue method, you can do it in a matter of hours using GIS and fewer personnel.Can you tell us the number of houses we have in Kano? We cannot directly say we have 100 or 200 houses. I can categorically tell you however that, Kano State has more than 300,000 officially recorded titles because we have three registries and each has more than 100,000 titles. But then we have more than 2 million houses in Kano State because the urban ghetto settlement popularly called “awon igiya” are more than the government approved layout or plots. Nobody can say precisely the number of houses in Kano State.We’ve started enumerating and formalizing the awon igiya type of houses in conjunction with GEMS3, a DFID funded project and we have even issued Cs-of-O in Fagge and Ungogo local government areas. Some people express fears that KANGIS may not continue after Govenor Kwankwaso? (Laughter) You see KANGIS has put a lot of land scammers and fraudulent staff out of business. These are the people peddling such talks to discourage title holders from coming for the recertification exercise. The next government is a continuation of the Kwankwaso administration hook, line and sinker. Anyone nursing such a nonsensical fear should lay it to rest now. International institutions like the World Bank, UN and its agencies while rating nations and states and drawing up ranking for development indexes now look at the state’s adoption of the GIS technology more than anything else.
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