The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council says it has commenced reforms towards making property registration and construction permits easy in all states across the country.
The council, set up as inter-governmental and inter-ministerial, is chaired by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and comprises 10 ministers, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, representatives from Lagos and Kano State governments, the National Assembly and the private sector.
According to the council, since the initiative to improve the process of property registration in Lagos and Kano as pilot states commenced, a number of milestones including reduction in charges have been recorded.
In a statement, PEBEC said, “The reform initiatives, championed by PEBEC in conjunction with the Lagos State Government, include removing the Infrastructure Development Charge for two-floor warehouse construction permit applications; eliminating the requirement for a Certified True Copy of title documents in the construction permit application process and not requiring a Soil Investigation Report to be submitted in construction permit applications for non-marshy areas of Lagos State.”
According to the council, the IDC, a fee for construction permits, estimated at N6.5m, has reduced the overall cost of the construction permits application process from 26.3 per cent to 5.1 per cent while CTC has reduced the construction permits application process time as well as the associated cost of obtaining the CTC documents.
It explained that in Kano, it had collaborated with the Kano State Government through its Urban Planning and Development Authority to enable online application and payment process for construction permits and building plans; improving the water connection timeline to seven days from time of payment and reduced the cost of connection to one-third.
“Physical inspection before issuance of Certificate of Habitation has been cancelled; submission of application and payment for building plan approval at Kano Urban Planning and Development Authority can be done online and simultaneously.
Building plan approvals are now obtainable within 14 days while private professional firms now carry out inspections before, during, and after construction, eliminating the need for a final inspection by the Kano Urban Planning and Development Authority,” PEBEC said.
On property registration, the council stated that through the Kano State Bureau for Land Management and Kano State Geographic Information System, the issuance of Governor’s Consent had been delegated to the attorney-general to reduce time of getting approval to seven days from 30 days, while in Lagos also an online portal for payment of relevant fees in registering a property had been provided.
According to the council, in Lagos, provision has been made online to provide clarity on requirements and steps for registering property as well as relevant land information for registering properties such as fees and schedules.
The statement read in part, “The reform initiatives, championed by PEBEC in conjunction with the Lagos State Government, include updating information on land disputes and list of properties with pending court cases and accepting the National Identity Card as a means of identification that can be verified through the national identity database, among others.
“In Kano, information recorded by the Lands Bureau for properties and the Office of the State Surveyor-General for mapping are linked within a single database while the Lands Bureau and the OSSG office process and track client files based on a single unique file identification number.”
PEBEC stated that among other things, provision had been made to provide independent dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve land-related disputes while application for connection to the electricity grid in both states had been made possible online and could be done within 30 days.