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Lagos clamps down on banks, others over illegal building conversion

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Governor Ambode

The Lagos authorities have begun clampdown on property owners that converted their residential buildings into commercial purposes.

About five banks and over 80 buildings at Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos are being penalized for illegal conversion by the State’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA).

The agency warned building owners against unauthorized conversion of property for commercial purpose. Under the physical planning law, a residential property owner must obtain due permit before it could convert such building to commercial use.

General Manager, LASBCA, Lekan Shodeinde said the affected buildings had been issued notices over one month ago to come forward to regularise their documents and get commercial approval, but only few property owners whose buildings had been converted to commercial purposes showed up.

Shodeinde said LASBCA had been given the mandate to carry out audit on buildings in Lagos State for safety purposes and ensure that people did not take laws into their hands.

“The affected buildings were giving approval for residential and were later converted for commercial purposes for which no approval was granted. Owners of properties served notices on Allen Avenue did not come forward to regularise their papers, hence the need to enforce the law for compliance purpose”.

He reiterated that government had also given six months grace period for people who did not have permit before erecting their structures to regularise without paying the penalties for such violations.

According to him, government would no longer tolerate illegal conversion of residential properties to commercial without permit, as the law would descend heavily on those who trampled under the law.

The seal off exercise, which was a combined effort between the agency and the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), he said, would help to restore sanity in the built environment in Lagos state.

LASBCA urged property owners to obtain necessary building permits and approvals and not wait until officials of the regulatory agencies in the state chase them about.

It added that the seal off exercise would be extended to all part of the state.


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