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Lagos tasks developers on illegal developments as REDAN urges seamless process

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Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako

For a safer built-up environment, the Lagos State Government has charged real estate developers to halt construction of buildings in unauthorised places, which transcends to contraventions and illegal developments.

The government advised them not to jeopardise the sanctity of the life of the people as their operations in the physical environment have effects on the social, economic and psychological space.

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Speaking at the ‘Developers’ Roundtable’, a forum organised by Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Lagos chapter, in collaboration with the states’ Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, said developers must take cognisance of the various operative development plans, which are for the social good of all.

He told them that planning permit and zero-tolerance policy of the government on illegal developments are viable means to effective and sustainable development planning in the state.

Salako said: “We should not pay lip service to sustainable development. We must be pragmatic in our pursuit of monetary interest and financial gains. This forum is geared towards bridging the information with property developers to cultivate voluntary compliance, reduced cost for monitoring and enforcement.

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“Planning permit is a contractual agreement between the state and the developer on a specified use of any parcel of land, with clearly stated terms, contrary to which the planning permit becomes null and void until the application is resubmitted for reconsideration.”

Salako reminded that Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019, amended, stipulates that every physical development must be covered with a valid planning permit and building plan approval.

The forum attracted the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Urban Development, Adele Ayuba, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe, General Manager, state’s building control agency, Gbolahan Oki, General manager, state’s Urban Renewal Agency, Faidat Shomade, General Manager, state’s Material Testing Laboratory, Olufunsho Elulade, General Manager, New Town Development Authority, Olakunle Aboyeji, Acting GM state’s Physical Planning Permit Authority, Kikelomo Ashogbon and REDAN, Lagos chapter publicity secretary, Toby Ifada and others.

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The commissioner disclosed that the ministry has put in place policy reforms and initiatives to enhance the delivery of its mandate and services to the generality of Lagosians, adding that the processing of layout plans for necessary approvals, which is mandatory for the physical development of parcels of land in excess of 10,000sq.m (one hectare) has also been reviewed.

He listed initiatives that are relevant to developers as the release of some lands that were embargoed namely, Ajido Badagry (Recently released Military Acquisition); FAAN Acquisition, Isolo; LASU Acquisition, Ojo; Isashi Waterworks Acquisition, Ojo; 300-hectare acquisition, Eti- Osa; Aboru, Agbelekale Alagbado, AIT and Ikola in Agbado-Ipaja; Ojodu-Berger, Ikeja; Oke-Ira, Agege; Shasha, Alimosho; Satelite and FESTAC Town, Amuwo-Odofin; Chagouri and Chagouri Acquisition, and Awoyaya in Ibeju-Lekki.

Other regulations, Salako stated to include, faster processing of layout plan approval within three months due to reviewed process, provision of development guide plans to facilitate the processing of planning permit in action plan areas and excised villages and filing of a laminated copy of approved layout plan for ease of reference.

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He urged developers to be abreast of reforms and explore benefits for overall gains rather than shun them and incur unwarranted costs, which are not limited to social embarrassments.

The REDAN chapter chairman, Mr. Bamidele Onalaja, said challenges faced by developers, include snail pace in processing building permit.

He lamented that it takes up to 12 or 24 months to get a building permit from the state government.

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However, he stated that the government has reviewed its planning permits time to three months, adding that if the government could enforce that, it would be a miracle for the built environment.

Onalaja said “It had never happened before. If it could happen, there would be no contravention. As property developers, we work so hard and sometimes borrow money from banks to undertake development and it’s always sad that after you build, they demolish it because of the lack of builders’ permit.

“We have asked the government to educate us on the best way to do it. We would be happy to work with the government in the area of voluntary compliance.”

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