Nigeria: Lagos adopts digital physical planning reforms to boosts Ease of Doing Business

WorldStage Newsonline– To enhance the ease of doing business, the Lagos State Government on Thursday said it was adopting various reforms to boost physical planning services and public confidence.

The state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, said during the annual ministerial press briefing to mark the first anniversary of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration that part of the reform mechanism led to the inauguration of experts in the Lagos State Physical Planning and Building Control Appeals Committee to handle petitions on contraventions of the extant urban development laws.

He listed other reforms to include passage of a new regulation, tagged the ‘Lagos State Physical Planning and Building Control Reglations 2019’, to serve as guideline for the operations of two agencies.

The agencies are the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), which were saddled with responsibilities of enhancing seamless operations.

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.

It also include digitisation of the processes of the ministry and its agencies to ensure adoption and compliance with 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 were intended to ensure smooth running of operations of the ministry and its agencies to enhance the sustainability of the environment.

He said the policy was assisting in the delivery of the mandate of the ministry, especially the issuance of planning permits, carrying out regulatory and other activities.

Salako added that to further enhance the ease of doing business, the government had rejuvenated the Electronic Planning Permit (epp.) platform and had received 232 applications through the platform.

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 uses, among others.

He said the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development facilitated actualisation of the Lagos Island Revitalisation project by clearing and delivering it to the Ministry of Health.

The commissioner explained that the site meant for health facility was on Adeniji-Adele Road, adding that the old Jankara Market was cleared and delivered for other state development projects.

Salako 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.

He said that 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.

“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 certificates of completeness and fitness for habitation and unsealed 629 property due to enforcement and compliance.

“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 Geo-technic tests, 41 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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