As part of efforts to enhance the Ease of Doing Business, the Lagos State Government has instituted a number of reforms to boost Physical Planning services and improve public confidence in the present administration.
Delivering his Y2020 Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the first anniversary of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu's administration, the Honourable Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, explained that some of the reforms embarked upon by the State Government include: the inauguration of an ombudsman in the form of the Lagos State Physical Planning and Building Control Appeals Committee.
Salako said the Committee will, among other things, address petitions on contraventions of the urban development laws and ensure compliance with the new regulation titled: “The Lagos State Physical Planning and Building Control Regulations 2019”, to serve as the framework for the operations of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) for enhancement of the Agencies' activities.
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; the ongoing digitisation of the process of the Ministry and Agencies adopted by the State to enhance performance through electronic technology.
“The Ministry has received and is currently considering proposals for the application of change detection technology, Geo-Satellite Images as well as 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, ultimately enhancing the sustainability of the environment, are already assisting in the delivery of its mandate, especially in the issuance of planning permits and carrying out regulatory activities.
He also revealed that, as part of efforts to further enhance the Ease of Doing Business in Lagos State, the State Government has rejuvenated its Electronic Planning Permit (EPP) platform, and had treated 232 applications through the platform in the last 365 days.
The Commissioner 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, hospitality and agricultural, among others.
In his words “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 the health facility on Adeniji-Adele Road, in addition to clearing and delivering the old Jankara Market for other State Development projects”.
While noting that the aim of the Lagos Island Revitalisation project is to address the issue of over-stretched basic infrastructural facilities, reposition socio-economic status and enhance environmental sustainability, Salako hinted that the regulatory activities of the Ministry are on course as a total of 14,505 enforcement notices were served on distressed, illegal and non-conforming structures through the combined efforts of the Ministry and its Agencies.
“The Ministry and its Agencies identified 8,428 on-going building constructions, 543 distressed buildings and served 2,360 existing building constructions with Post Construction Audit (PCA) requests. Within the period under review, we issued 13 Certificates of Completeness and Fitness for habitation and unsealed 629 property due to enforcement and compliance”, the Commissioner averred.
He said that in the bid to guarantee the stability and integrity of structures as well as prevent building collapse in the State, the Ministry, through the Materials Testing Laboratory, carried out 54 Geo-technic tests, 41 water tests, 2302 concrete tests, 1391 steel tests, 25 stanchions tests and 75% points of pile.
“We Identified 182 Buildings for re-engineering and served 80 private schools, 100 commercial buildings, 28 bank head offices and 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas notices for stability and integrity tests”, he added.