Lagos boosts ease of doing business with physical planning reforms

Written by Benjamin Omoike

.Adopts tech to enhance monitoring of built environment

As part of efforts to enhance the ease of doing business, the Lagos State Government is instituting a number of reforms to boost Physical Planning services and instil public confidence.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, during the Annual Ministerial Press Briefing, marking the first year of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu as Governor of Lagos State, at the JJT Park in Alausa on Thursday.

He highlighted the reforms to include: the inauguration of an ombudsman in the form of the Lagos State Physical Planning and Building Control Appeals Committee that will among others address petitions on contraventions of the urban development laws and; the passage of a new regulation, tagged the Lagos State Physical Planning and Building  Control Regulations 2019, serving as the framework for the operations of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) in order to enhance the activities of these agencies.

Other reforms are the devolution of Planning Permit Approval Powers and the creation of more district offices to fast track approval process and enhance the ease of doing business in Lagos State and; the ongoing digitisation of the process of the Ministry and Agencies which the Ministry is embarking upon to adopt electronic technology in order to enhance its performance.

“The Ministry has received and is currently considering proposals for the application of change detection technology, Geo Satellite Images and data for monitoring and tracking changes in developmental activities with a view to detecting and discouraging illegal development,” he said.

Salako said that the reforms, which were intended to assist the successful conduct of activities of the Ministry and its Agencies and ultimately enhance the sustainability of the environment were already assisting in the delivery of the mandate of the Ministry, especially the issuance of planning permits, carrying out regulatory and other activities.

In this connection, he said that to further enhance the Ease of Doing Business in Lagos State, the State Government had rejuvenated the Electronic Planning Permit (epp.) platform and received 232 applications through the platform in the last 365 days.

He explained that the Ministry, through the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) granted a total of 2,366 approvals for various uses including commercial, mixed-use, institutional and hotel, agricultural among others.”

As part of his Ministry’s scorecard, the Commissioner disclosed that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development facilitated the Lagos Island Revitalisation project by clearing and delivering to the Ministry of Health the site meant for health facility on Adeniji-Adele Road, in addition to clearing and delivering the old Jankara Market for other State Development projects.

He said that the aim of the Lagos Island Revitalisation project was to address the issue of over-stretched basic infrastructural facilities and reposition her socio-economic status and enhance environmental sustainability.

Salako also hinted that the regulatory activities of the Ministry were on course as a total of 14,505 enforcement notices were served on distressed structures and illegal and non-conforming structures through the combined efforts of the Ministry and its Agencies.

His words: “In the same vein, the Ministry and its Agencies identified 8,428 on-going building construction, 543 distressed building and served 2,360 existing building construction with Post Construction Audit (PCA) requests.

“Within the period under review, we issued 13 (nos.) certificates of completeness and fitness for habitation and unsealed 629 properties due to enforcement and compliance.”

He said that in the bid to guarantee the stability and integrity of structures and prevent building collapse in the State, the Ministry through the Materials Testing Laboratory carried out 54(nos.) Geo-technic tests, 41(nos.) water tests, 2,302 concrete tests, 1,391 steel test, 25 stanchions test and 75 per cent points of pile.

“We Identified 182 Buildings for re-engineering and served 80 private schools, 100 commercial buildings, 28 bank head offices and the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development areas notices for stability and integrity tests,” he said.

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Benjamin Omoike

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