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Addis Ababa’s Land and Management Bureau (AALMB) has announced the termination of 33 lease developers’ contracts, whose plots of land have now been transferred to the land bank for future  auctions.

According to the bureau’s report from the previous fiscal year, 283 lease developers received final warnings while 249 were penalized for taking too long to start construction on land they were awarded.

AALMB also announced that it will aggressively work to terminate the contracts of other developers who fail to utilize their plots of lands.

Such land is often leased for  significant sums, with the highest offer on record, a staggering 355,555 birr for one square meter of  land

Adissu Yeshewas, Communications Officer for the bureau told Capital, “We auction land to see the plots being used but a lot of land remains fenced and idle. We are in discussions with many lease developers to ensure they work quickly and we have penalized and terminated some developers’ contracts when they were not receptive of our warnings.”

He added that the bureau has now made available a total of 8,061 hectares of land in Nefas Silk and Akakai sub cities of the capital, including land obtained by demolishing illegal structures in these areas. The bureau reports that in the last budget year alone, 7898 houses were demolished.

And 152 plots also identified that have been closed and fenced for a long time with out any construction.

“Many investors provide various reasons to renew their contracts and their plot remain idle, so we are trying to push them to commence construction. Otherwise, we are obliged to terminate their contracts and transfer the land,” he said.

The city’s land administration body is obliged to lease out land plots every year, as stated in the 2011 Urban Land Lease Holding Proclamation – over the last fiscal year, 99 hectares of land were made available for lease. Such land is often leased for significant sums, with the highest offer on record, a staggering 355,555 birr for one square meter of land in Merkato by Siket International PLC in the 15th round of auctions. The revenue from the seven auctions held last fiscal year was 203.3 million birr.

According to experts, the price offers in land auctions is shutting middle and lower income individuals outof the market, as they are unable to offer such hefty sums for land.

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