… Engages Stakeholders in Agege, Environs…
The Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) has instituted several initiatives including policies and reforms that have made the process of obtaining planning permits seamless, purpose-driven and public-friendly.
Those were the words of the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, when he spoke at a stakeholders’ forum organised by LASPPPA, with the theme: “Repositioning of LASPPPA for Effective Service Delivery”.
The Commissioner stated that the various reforms have also enhanced the State’s Global rating on the scale of ‘Ease of Doing Business’.
Addressing participants, the Commissioner maintained that the task of making Lagos State a more enviable city in Nigeria remains a collective responsibility that can only be attained through developmental potential opportunities and strict adherence to planning laws and regulations of the State.
The Commissioner noted that it is for the realisation of the various Operative Development Plans (ODP) that the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority has continued to evolve and implement various initiatives on the processing and issuance of Planning Permits.
Dr. Salako explained that LASPPPA has created more District Offices, devolved Planning Permit Powers, revised the Standard Operating Procedures of the Agency and commenced digitisation of its processes as part of the repositioning efforts to function and perform optimally.
He also said that the Electronic Planning Permit (ePP) Platform of the agency is currently being upgraded to full automation for hitch-free, virtual and online Planning Permit processing.
All these measures, according to him, are meant to enhance effective grassroots coverage, quick turn-around-time and ultimately, a functional and sustainable physical environment.
The Commissioner said: “The State Government has also put in place the Physical Planning and Building Control Appeals Committee as a public engagement channel to amicably resolve complaints bordering on Physical Planning and Development Control in the State”.
“As a result of this, residents of the State, like never before, now have the opportunity to lodge complaints about infractions arising from their interactions with the Ministry and her Agencies for prompt and reasonable redress. I am also happy to report that the Ministry is working on the application of Change Detection Technology to monitor and manage physical development in the State”, he added.
Salako urged all stakeholders in the built environment of Lagos State, be it property owners, developers or uptakers, to ensure that they build right in consonance with the Physical Planning Laws of the State.
Emphasising that it is mandatory to obtain the necessary approvals from LASPPPA before carrying out physical development, the Commissioner maintained that supervision by the Lagos State Building Control Agency is mandatory for stage certification and issuance of Certificate of Completion and Fitness for Habitation for compliant structures.
He also bemoaned the rate of uncoordinated physical developments across the State without appropriate approvals, saying “The rate at which people erect structures illegally without approval throughout the State is alarming and calls for decisive action on the part of Government and other stakeholders”.
Also speaking at the forum, the General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA). Tpl. Kehinde Osinaike, said there is a surge in the rate at which people convert residential buildings to commercial premises with cases where old buildings were being redeveloped into new structures without approval from the government.
He stated that due to the importance of Agege to the State Government, an ancient town with historical monuments and natural endowments, there is an urgent need to halt developments that are not in sync with the Agege Model City and Action Area Development Plans, which give clear means to guide development in the area.
Osinaike’s words: “This type of practice must stop. Relevant stakeholders need to cooperate with the Government in this regard because the consequences of these uncontrolled physical developments usually come with huge human and material losses”.
He said that the stakeholders’ meeting was an opportunity for LASPPPA and its stakeholders to dialogue and reason together.
“It will also afford you to know what our intentions as the regulatory body for physical planning activities are. We will also be glad to listen to you and know some of the challenges that are confronting you such that, together, we can both achieve more sustainable and livable communities”, the General Manager noted.