Lagos moves to eliminate delays in building approvals
The Lagos State Government may have ignited a new vigour in building approval process following the decision of the new Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako to fast track the system in the state.
Dr. Salako, who made the pledge during a visit to the State’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Physical Planning Permit Agency (LASPPA) and Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA), said the government is set to eliminate delays in the issuance of building plan approvals as he starts work with the tour of Agencies under his Ministry.
Before now, securing building approval has been a herculean task for developers and investors, hence hindering housing delivery efforts.
Dr. Salako, who visited in the company of the Special Adviser on Urban Development, Kabir Ahmed Abdullahi and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Foluso Dipe said that factors causing delays in issuing building plan approvals would be examined thoroughly with a view to easing the process and eliminating the delays.
His words: “We are determined to streamline the process and enhance inter-agency collaboration where necessary to eliminate delays in issuing building plan approvals as bottlenecks create unnecessary backlogs and encourage illegal developments”
He said that it had become incumbent upon officers of the Ministry to deliver effective and efficient service to the people in the most expedient manner since their services directly impact the wellbeing of the people.
The commissioner urged staff of the Ministry to support Government initiatives and be true ambassadors of the Lagos State Government in words and deeds, stressing that as professionals involved in regulating the built environment, they played a critical role in the harmonious development of the physical environment in the state.
Also, the state government has vowed to explore legal means in checking the interests of residents from real estate swindlers as well as the increased occurrences of fraudulent activities in the sector.
Commissioner of Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, who disclosed in Alausa, Ikeja, when some victims from Alapere Ketu visited him to complain, said the government would also help citizens to seek redress in cases of fraudulent transactions.
He stressed that the state government has declared a war against fraudulent practitioners in the real estate sector.
“We are determined to make Lagos a no-go area for unscrupulous individuals who prey on Lagosians under the guise of real estate business”, he said.
Earlier, one of the victims allegedly defrauded by an estate agent, Aliyu Toyin, had expressed fears that the culprit, who allegedly collected rents from over 260 prospective tenants for only 15 units of accommodation may not be brought to book.
But the commissioner assured them that “justice will definitely be served to the fraudulent property developer, who swindled them out of their hard-earned money.”
Akinderu-Fatai stressed that the government was aware of the issue and had instituted legal actions against the developer on behalf of the victims.
He urged the public to report dubious estate agents and developers to the office of Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD), Block 7, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.
The commissioner further assured that the government under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is very responsive and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the culprits are brought to book.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola urged Lagosians seeking accommodation to transact business with estate agents and developers who are registered with LASRETRAD, a directorate under the ministry.
He stressed that the directorate is saddled with the responsibility of registering, regulating and monitoring real estate operators across the state and appealed to the victims to maintain peace and order, while the government takes action on the matter.