– Stops Granting Permits to Reclaimed Lands in Banana Island
To facilitate seamless processing of Planning Permit, the Lagos State Government has held a dialogue with Owners and Developers of properties on Banana Island and other Estates in Ikoyi.
Speaking during the dialogue session in Ikoyi on Thursday, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako said that the meeting was specifically targeted at ensuring that the basterdisation of the Operative Development plan covering the areas stopped while the extant Laws and Regulations governing physical development in the State were respected.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako
“This is because we can not allow this ugly trend to continue unabated” he said.
He added that “In addition, this meeting should be considered as another lease for you to toe the line of the law. As respectable citizens, you are expected to be above board, especially as regards sustainable development and lawful dealings”
He urged stakeholders in the Ikoyi area to avoid engaging in unwholesome act,which were capable of bringing serious embarrasment to their persons.
He explained that the unwholsome practices by Owners/Developers include non- Adherence to Planning Permit, which renders the Permit null and void, constitutes illegal development and attracts sanctions, including the related payments and possible demolition of building as empowered by the extant laws.
The Commissioner also expressed dismay at the deliberate Falsehood in the Design Drawings with a view to short-changing the State Government as regards Assessment and the Scheduled Fees.
“This is usually perpetrated by Owners/Developers who prepare two to three sets of Drawings for manipulation such that the set presented for Planning Permit processing differs from that for actual construction on site. Most often than not, the design parameters are in total variation in terms of Volume of Building, Airspaces and Setbacks, Permissible Density, Number of Floors, Permissible Uses” he stressed.
He frawned at the construction of buildings prior to granting of Planning Permit and mandatory Stage Certification.
He emphasised that payment of Fees must not be misconstrued as automatic Planning Permit while construction prior to Planning Permit rendered the development illegal and liable to enforcement exercises.
On the issue of fake Approvals, he warned for the ceasation of connivance with third parties, some of whom are staff of the Ministry who are illegally engaged to provide “Administrative Protection” for illegal developments and urged stakeholders to ensure compliance with the statutory requirements and deal directly with the Ministry through its formal channels.
” The act is CRIMINAL OFFENCE and all persons that are found culpable in this regard, including the Owners/Developers of such buildings are liable for prosecution and other sanctions as provided by the Law” he said.
Salako explained further that “another illegal issue is Encroachment of the Proposed Regional Road Alignment, Coastal Road and the Lagoon Highway which is to connect the Regional Road with the Fourth Mainland Bridge”
This proposed Road is a major catalyst for socioeconomic development of the Lekki-Ajah Axis as well as a furtherance of the Transportation and Traffic Management Pillar of the THEMES Agenda;
In the same vein, he decried the Illegal reclamation of parts of the Waterways abutting Ikoyi/Victoria Island with frivolous claims despite the 2003 Supreme Court Judgement which vested all lands and physical development of same in the Lagos State Government.
He made it known that the Ministry would stop granting Planning Permits on such reclaimed lands regardless of Clearances from Federal Government MDAs which is in
flagrant disobedience of the subsisting Ikoyi/Victoria Island Approval Order.
He added that the Federal Agencies had no jurisdiction/power over the matter since the landmark judgement.
He explained that as provided by Law, Developers were to apply for Planning Permit from the Ikoyi/Victoria Island District Office of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) or through its website https://epp.lagosstate.gov.ng.
” As a responsive Government, we have taken every necessary step to enhance the Planning Permit Process in order to conclude the process in 28Days while there is also the option of the Fast-Track Services which is at a Premium Rate of 500% of the prevailing Fees for Planning Permit in Ten (10) Days. In this wise, the Electronic Planning Permit (ePP) Online Platform has been re-energised to facilitate virtual and on-line applications for Planning Permits” he said.
Dr. Salako said it was equally important to notify the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) for Stage Certification before commencement of any construction on site and subsequent issuance of Certificate of Completion and Fitness for Habitation.
“Furthermore, LASBCA has recently launched an iniative called “Green Sticker and Site Log Book” which are initiatives in line with the provisions of the LASBCA Regulations to document activities on the building construction site, to provide a history of the site, including the Stage Certification processes and subsequent certification of completion and safety assurance in the Site Log Book” he said.
The Green Sticker is meant to be administered to tag the qualifying buildings that have satisfied all building permit requirements.
Consequently, he enjoined Owners/Developers to desist from constructing buildings prior to Planning Permit or different from the Permit granted as well as to ensure that their building construction activities qualify for the Green Sticker.
Salako urged all to seize the golden opportunity provided by the dialogue as mutual respect, mutual understanding and common purpose for common good, for all.
He called for voluntarily compliance with all the provisions of the Physical Planning and Urban Development and Control Law as well as the Regulations and Approval Orders.
” If you have any concerns relating to this, you have the benefit of seeking fair hearing and necessary redress through the Physical Planning Permit and Building Control Appeals Committee, which was launched in December 2019″ he stated.
Explaining the rationale behind taxation as part of the Planning Permit process, the Chairman, Lagos Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Hamzat Subair said that Government relied on tax to finance development and that the additional tax assessment for Planning Permit application was part of the statutory responsibilities of the Inland Revenue Service.
He urge Lagosians to make truthful disclosures of earnings and make tax payment a voluntary exercise.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Hon. Ganiyu Ayuba urged stakeholders to avoid cutting corners and always approach the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority(LASPPPA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency( LASBCA) offices for official transactions.
The General Managers LASPPPA and LASBCA, Tpl. Funmi Oshifuye and Engr. Biola Kosegbe respectively made presentations on the processes of their respective agencies with a view to further enlightening stakeholders on seamless processing of Planning Permit