In a move to improve the state’s ease of doing business, the Lagos State Government has pegged the period within which building approval can be processed to 28 days, saying it has waved title documents as a condition for obtaining approval.
The state government has also issued a six-month notice to enable all property owners, who have built without approval regularise their approval documents, noting that it will not charge any penalty within the window of six months.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting he addressed at the weekend to sensitise the residents of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, Lagos.
Ogunleye addressed the stakeholders’ meeting alongside the General Manager of the state Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA), Mr. Funmi Osifuye, warning against erecting buildings without perfecting approval documents.
At the meeting, Ogunleye lamented that many residents of the state had not been obtaining approval before erecting their buildings, a practice that violated the state Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, 2010.
Citing implication for public safety, the commissioner disclosed that the process of obtaining building approval “has been made easy. Any person with intention to erect structures within the state will secure building approval within 28 days.
“Between March 1 and August 31, we will not charge any penalty for those who had erected their structures without a building permit. We purposely created that six months grace period for landowners to obtain their building permit.”
Also speaking at the meeting, the general manager explained reasons for the six-month grace to enable property owners perfect their approval documents, noting that the opportunity was “to assist property owners protect themselves.”
Within the six-month window, Osifuye said property owners could approach the government with land receipt and obtain the required government permit, noting that the state government was determined to encourage residents seek building approval before erecting their structures in any part of the state.
He added that the state government “has waved registered title as condition for obtaining building approval. The law stipulated that before anyone could erect a structure, such a person must obtain development permit. The government now accepts family receipt as condition to erect structures across the state.”
Ogunleye also lamented proliferation of oil tank farms in the state, noting that the state government would probe their operations due to implication for public safety and failing to comply with environmental impact assessment guidelines.
He said the state government’s decision to embark on the investigation was “to protect residents from fire disasters that might emanate from the tank farms during explosions.”
He explained the decision of the state government to investigate tank farm operation, noting that it “has already embarked on the study. And soon, we will come up with a very comprehensive approach to get everything under control in Lagos.”
He said the ongoing investigation “will address the apprehension often expressed on tank farms in the state. The proliferation of filling stations has made residents express worry over it considering the inflammability of petroleum products.”