The Lagos State Government on Thursday said that no fewer than 500 Certificates of Occupancy (CO) are approved every month by the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode in a bid to scale up the provision of housing and create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in the State.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl. Abiola Anifowose made the disclosure at a press briefing held to mark the 2017 United Nations World Habitat Day, saying the present administration had, since inception, introduced initiatives to reposition the Lands Bureau for greater efficiency and quality service delivery to the people.
He said the theme for this year’s celebration – “Housing Policy: Affordable Homes” – is in line with the commitment of the State Government to ensure the provision of affordable houses to more Lagosians, while also reducing the bottlenecks previously associated with land administration.
He recalled the introduction of Rent-to-Own housing policy of the State Government which allows people to pay monthly rent leading to eventual ownership of such houses, and the reduction in prices of the housing units in government schemes across the State, stressing that such initiatives were geared toward increasing homeownership in the State.
According to Anifowose, “In the last few months, the present administration has repositioned the Lands Bureau and the agency now offers world-class services. As we speak, Lagos State has started processing Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) online and offline.The Governor signs more than 500 CofOs every month. All the bottlenecks of the past have been confined to the dustbin of history”.
“This is just the beginning and I can assure the people that by the end of December this year, we are installing more equipment in order to ensure that people can have access to all the information needed on land administration including the e-planning system from anywhere they are,” the Commissioner said.
While urging the people to cooperate with the government in its bid to rid the State of unwholesome practices in the building sector, Anifowose said it was important for those intending to embark on any development to get the necessary approval and information on the land intended for such construction.
He said: “The first thing you should do if you want to acquire a land in Lagos is to call for land planning information. Before you acquire any land, please obtain a copy of that survey and you can also apply to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to know the status of any land and we will go a step further by telling you if the land is in acquisition; what you can build there; the scheme and the zoning; what your architect can design for you and how to go about submission of your design, all free of charge. These can be ready in two weeks.”
Besides, Anifowose said in all the places where the State Government has removed structures for the right of way and other developments, all the necessary stakeholders were duly carried along about the benefit of such projects to the people.