The chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Bisi Adedire, has debunked the statement credited to him by a national daily during his testimony at the ongoing trial of the Registered Trustees of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and four others for the collapse of SCOAN building at Ikotun Egbe, on September 12, 2014, at Lagos High Court, Igbosere.
He made the clarification at a press conference where he called the attention of the general public and government stating that it was erroneous and damaging for a paper to misquote him without first seeking clarification in such a highly sensitive matter before rushing to the press.
Adedire stated that it was published in a national daily that during his testimony at the ongoing criminal trial of the Registered Trustees of SCOAN and four others, that he said that Lagos allows building a house without a development permit.
“This is contrary to what was I said. I, Adedire, as a staunch follower of regulations and ethics of the profession, never said that.
“There is no section or subsection of any physical planning regulation of the State where it is permitted for buildings to be erected without development permit.”
While speaking at the court, Adedire was said to note thus: “Planning permit is a process whereby a proponent who seeks to develop a land brings developmental proposal to the planning office with the aim of receiving development permit to ensure legitimate erection of buildings in accordance with government regulation.
“In other words, as far as the regulation is concerned, a building without development permit is not legitimate. However, it should be noted that the state government had always given room for existing buildings within the state which were constructed without planning approval to be condoled by allowing the owners or developers to come for regularization.”
In a previous publication by another national daily on March 1, 2018, pages 34 and 35, the state government through the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) under the supervision of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development gave a-six-month grace for existing buildings without planning permit to regularize without the payment of penal fee.
“Initially, for regularization of existing structures, penal fee would be paid but it was stated in the publication that for applications that would be brought in within the time space, penal fees would be waived.
The town planner noted that the process of regularizing a building without permit had been there even before he became a town planning consultant.
“As such, when asked by the Counsel if existing buildings in Lagos State could be given development permit, I, Tpl Adedire said yes based on the above publication of March 1, 2018 and what had always been obtainable in the State. This statement made is different from what was published.”
He explained that owners of such properties would only have to go through the planning process required, which includes: provision of title documents on the land (such as certificate of occupancy, deed of assignment or duly stamped receipt of land purchase), provision of survey plan, submission of drawings (architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical drawings where necessary depending on the project), availability of tax certificate, building integrity test etc.
He stressed that once the drawings were screened and recommended for calculation of assessment, the development is approved. He also stated at the court that if an applicant does not make full payment of the assessment fee, approval cannot be granted.
Furthermore, the witness who was just subpoena by the court via a letter dated October 4, 2018 to give evidence on Town Planning and Physical Planning Permit exercise and procedures in Lagos State as well as tender certify true copy (CTC) of necessary reports said that the Lagos State government through its appropriate agencies can issue any defaulting developer with enforcement notices. This ranges from contravention notice, stop work order, quit notice, sealing notice, regularization notice and demolition notice.
SOURCE: Daily Independent