By Damilola Kushimo
Sequel to the publication in newspapers by the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development through Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), to offer a 6-month grace period to prospective and age long land owners and developers in the state without planning permit, that is, building approval, to perfect their land title with the government without any financial penalty, delegates from LASPPPA has paid a sensitizing visit to Isolo Community Development Council (CDC) to stimulate the awareness of the community residents.
A 2-man delegate from LASPPPA led by the District Officer of Oshodi-Isolo Town Planning, Taiwo Okoosi, which was present at the monthly CDC meeting held on Wednesday at the council secretariat, advised the executive members of the CDC to utilize the opportunity of the 6-month penalty-free period to update their building approval with the government or risk the seal up, afterwards.
Addressing the committee, Okoosi, who revealed the stimulus behind the unsolicited but important official visit, claimed that it was purposefully to sensitize the community about some rejigs in government policies, especially about obtaining building approval and the on-going 6-month penalty-free duration to obtain building approval from LASPPPA, having asserted that the official responsibility of LASPPPA is solely issuance of building approval after through assessment of the property.
According to him, in years back, the prerequisite for collecting building permit was majorly Certificate of Ownership (C of O), Title Document or Government’s consent but nowadays, the policy has been adjusted with much rigmarole cut off.
He explained that with just the receipt of purchase and other relevant documents, construction can be permitted, adding that the approval, which used to be a one-way process, has now become two forms for the convenience of all.
He stated, “From the 1st of March, 2018, the government had decided that all those who had built their houses without the necessary building permit or approval should come and obtain it without any custom penalty. Formerly, there used to be a strict penalty fee that must be paid whenever they decided to come for belated building approval. The initial amount was in four multiples of the supposed fees.
“But for the apparent fact that thousands of houses had been built over time, circumventing the necessary procedures, the government has decided that from the 1st of March, 2018 to August 31, 2018 building approval could be obtained without any penalty fee to afford everyone the opportunity of getting theirs.”
However, he maintained that the former procedure would be the yardstick for issuance at the fullness of the grace period.
In other words, he urged the community executives to disseminate the information to everyone in the community, “the normal procedure will be the code of conduct, afterwards and could even result in outright confiscation or seal up of building if the necessary documents are not provided on request.”
“We are ceasing this medium to enjoin you to help sensitize people in your various communities about this grace from government. Houses, buildings are eternal investments, it’ll be ideal if relentless efforts are made to secure it. Moreover, the government is offering this for less now, please help sensitize others to enjoy from this offer,” Okoosi concluded.
Having done justice to much of the trivial questions, he reiterated that further enquiries should be forwarded to LASPPPA district office at Aimasiko street, off Afariogun, Mafoluku Oshodi or any of the nearby 19 district offices of LASPPPA across the state after he had given out his phone number (08034030372) for timely communication.
Meanwhile, the CDC Chairman, Alhaji Fatai Abisiga, commended the state government for such consideration, saying the government has just taken a great and encouraging step unlike before when C of O and other relevant documents were only acquired for possible loan sake.
Rounding up the plenary session after much communal issues have been addressed, Abisiga re-affirmed the support of Isolo CDC to Governor Ambode in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
He, however, urged fellow executive members to work relentlessly towards the re-election of Ambode, and ensures everyone in the community collect their PVC.