Fresh moves are being made by the Lagos authorities to restore sanity to the built environment and further curb cases of building collapse and its attendant loss of lives and property in the state.
Under the new initiative supervised by the Lagos State Building Control Agency, (LASBCA), the agency is carrying out post construction audit exercise on all existing building to ascertain their status and determine the validity of development permits.
The government has already begun the circulation of letters to residents associations. The letter urged all owners/developers to forward their development permit to the nearest LASBCA office in their respective locations.
The letter signed on behalf of the General Manager of LASBCA by Olalekan Shodeinde, warned that any owner/developer that fails to submit the development permit within two-weeks of the notice will be served due statutory notices and compelled to obtain the development permit in line with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010.
The State Government had earlier last week officially announced granting a six- month grace period to allow property owners and developers, with existing developments or those wishing to commence construction but are yet to perfect their land title, obtain planning permits and approvals, without penalty.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman, Lekki Residents Association, Lekki Phase I, Prof. Ajose Olumide said; “What is the government recertifying for? We don’t understand what the government is after”, he said.
He lamented that many issues have come to the association at the same time. For instance; he said the question of the land use charge, the toll gate, and the post construction audit exercise.
Prof. Olumide stated that government needs to educate the people more about what it’s doing before issuing out ultimatum, adding that the association was trying to address the issue of the land use charge through an ad-hoc committee but not through with that, the issue of post construction audit exercise came up.
Speaking to The Guardian on the issue, the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Titi Ajirotutu explained, “Even if your building is 50 years old, the letter serve an avenue for those who do not have their building approval to obtain it.
The Governor has given an order that the Lagos State Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA) should not collect penalty fee for sixmonth. Before now, if you have built your house before approval, there is a penalty for it but it has been waved so that everybody will have the opportunity to do the needful”.
She added that; “Those whose building are very old, we also be asked to go for stability test to get assurance that the building can still last for a particular time or otherwise.
Any building that is still okay will be left alone and the owner will be asked to go for only approval. Lekki is a development site, those who have not done their permit; the wave of penal fee for six months, the wave of title document for six month for those who do not have is an avenue for them to do their building approval. LASBCA is not punishing anybody for now.”
Originally published in The Guardian