STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO OBTAINING BUILDING OR PLANNING PERMIT/APPROVAL IN LAGOS STATE IN 2021

INTRODUCTION

One of the major challenges affecting Nigeria today is housing deficit. It must be emphasized that Nigeria in 2021 is now being confronted by numerous challenges eg Terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, corruption, extrajudicial killings, fraud, insecurity, nepotism, bad governance, lack of infrastructures, COVID-19 etc and not just housing deficit. However, this article would be focused on housing/ building construction.

In one of our articles published in 2019, we tried to explain that the 17 million housing deficit that has always remained constant since 1999 may actually be wrong, as the housing deficit may be more than the 17 million being claimed by a lot of people.

The simple logic is that, as at same 1999, the population of Nigeria is said to be 119.3 million (sources include World BankUnited States Census Bureau).

The 2006 population census conducted under the Obasanjo administration put Nigeria’s population at 140,003,542. Hence, from 1999 to 2006, the population grew at about 14.78% meaning housing demand should have increased as well.

Another census should have been conducted in 2016 but same was not done. However, in 2020, Nigeria’s population was estimated as 206 million individuals. The 2020 estimate shows that the population grew by 2.58 percent compared to the previous year (2019)

From 1999 to 2020, the population growth increased by (119.3 million/206 million) 57.91%. Hence, it may be erroneous to claim that the housing deficit is 17 million, as we have more people homeless now in 2021 than previously have been at any time in the history of Nigeria. This can also be corroborated by the fact that Nigeria is said to be the capital of world’s poverty in terms of population.

One of the ways to tackle housing deficit is to make houses available and may be affordable. The way to make houses available is by building new ones or renovating/converting existing buildings.

For anyone to carryout out any development in many jurisdictions around the world, there is a need to get approval/permission from the authorities in those jurisdictions, which is why this article is focused on the processes involved in getting approval/permit to build any structure in Lagos State. 

CLARIFICATION: PLANNING APPROVAL IS DIFFERENT FROM C OF O/OTHER LAND TITLES

Before going fully into the topic of discourse, it is pertinent to make some clarifications of what planning permit/approval is. Approval to build or develop is completely different from land title. i.e whether you have a valid title (C of O, registered deed of assignment, land certificate, survey plan etc) or not, before you develop the land/property, you must still apply for development permit/approval.

Section 27(1) of the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010 in Lagos State clearly states that a permit from Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) is required before carrying out any physical development in Lagos State.

In a Certificate of Occupancy, the land use zoning is usually stated (land could be for residential, industrial, agricultural, recreational, institutional, commercial purpose) but this does not in any way grant the holder the right to develop that property without getting approval from the relevant MDA.

Similarly, even if you have an approval to develop or build a house that does not in any way make you the owner of the land, as this is clearly stated in section 37(4) of the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010

The next line of this article would be to list the principal ministries, departments and agencies to deal with in Lagos State for building approval/development permit

Principal Ministries and agencies to deal with in order to get approval

  1. Lands Bureau: Primary responsibility is Land administration, management and control. They allocate land, regularize and also register titles. This is the ministry where you obtain your C of O; get your deed of assignment, deed of mortgage, deed of gift, Will and letter of administration registered.
  2. Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development: Established as Lagos Executive Development Board (L.E.D.B) 1928 is responsible for vetting and approval of Building Plans in Lagos State. This is the go to ministry before you carry out any development on any land
  • Office of the Surveyor General: Over the years, the office has transformed from different ministries and departments. However, under the administration of Gov Akinwuimi Ambode via the Executive Order No EO/AA01 of 17th June, 2015 the office was retained as full-fledged Agency with the new nomenclature: Office of the State Surveyor General (OSSG). The primary function of the Office of the State Surveyor General is to provide Survey Framework to facilitate the registration of Certificate of Occupancy under the Land Use Act.

This office is very important because before you can get your title registred at the lands bureau, the survey plan must be cleared with the Office of the State Surveyor General and same applies to getting planning approval from Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development

  • Ministry of Environment: This ministry has also witnessed several reforms and name change under successive administrations in Lagos State. The primary responsibility is formulation of policy on environmental services matters. For some type of development in Lagos, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development requires permit/clearance from the Ministry of Environment.
  • Ministry of Transportation: is the state government ministry, charged with the responsibility to plan, devise and implement the state policies on transportation. For some type of development in Lagos, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development requires permit/clearance from the Ministry of Environment.
  • LIRS: is the operational arm of the Lagos State Government responsible for the collection of taxes and other revenues. All payments made or to be made to the above Agencies Ministries and Department is to be channeled through L.I.R.S
  • NTDA: The agency’s primary functions include Management and control of developed Government schemes/estate and Selection of land for schemes with functional infrastructure for development either for Government or private initiative.

For some type of development in Lagos, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development requires permit/clearance from the Ministry of Environment.

THE PROCESS OF GETTING THE APPROVAL

In consonance with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development is responsible for Physical Planning, Urban Development, Urban Regeneration and building control policies of Lagos State.

The ministry also supervises the following agencies:

Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA): primary function is granting of approval and Monitoring of Layouts and Development Schemes for both Government and Private Estates. Hence for clarity, the main agency to go to for approval of development is the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA)

Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA): responsible for building control in all its ramifications and approval to commence construction after obtaining development permit. LASBCA is the enforcement arm of the ministry that carryout demolition of illegal structures.

Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA): Charged with implementation of all State Government’s policies and programmes on Urban renewal

Planning Information

Either before or after buying the land, there is a need to apply for planning information from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. Planning information would tell you what the area has been zoned for. As posited above, there are different kinds of uses a land can be subjected to inline with operative development plan of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. By applying for planning information, the ministry would tell you what you can build and what you cannot build.

You might want to build a church, but the area could be a ‘no noise area’. Hence, planning information would tell you this. You might want to build a residential apartment, whereas the area is strictly zoned for agricultural use. Planning information would reveal this to you. Hence, it is important to apply for planning information before development.

Preparation of documents

Upon getting a nod from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development based on the planning information, the next thing the intending developer should do is to start preparing necessary documents.

  1. Survey plan: Upon identifying the land, the developer should contact the land surveyor for the preparation of the survey plan.
  2. The survey plan is sent to the architect to guide on the land size for the drawing of the plan of the development to be accommodated within the available land.
  3. The architect then starts preparing the building plan
  4. While the building plan is being prepared, the developer must invite the Soil Geotechnician to carryout Geotechnical survey. A geotechnical survey (soil test) is the first step in the construction or consolidation of a site. It includes information about soil consistency and structure, groundwater level and recommendations for the technical project.
  5. Upon receiving the soil test report and the architectural drawing, copies of both documents should be sent to the structural engineer. If proposed building is a bungalow, there is no need for a structural drawing, but if proposed building will be on two floors or more, there is need for structural drawing. In some cases (depending on the kind of building) mechanical and electrical drawings need to be prepared.
  6. Upon receiving the structural drawings, the applicant, would package all documents together in anticipation of submission to LASPPPA

Submission of relevant documents

Sequel to the preparation of necessary documents to facilitate the application, the developer would then submit same to LASPPPA office in the local government area where the property is situated.

Some of the documents to be submitted include the survey plan, architectural drawing, structural drawing, among others.

Obtaining assessment

Officer(s) will very verify the documents, request for more details if necessary, make corrections where necessary and thereafter schedule a site visit for inspection.

Upon being satisfied with documents submitted, the officer would issue an assessment based on the architectural drawing submitted.

Payments to be made

The assessment is always in two parts. Part 1 will be payment to me made to LASPPPA as the agency granting the approval and the other part will be payment to LASBCA for stage certification.

Apart from payment to be made to the agencies under Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (LASPPPA and LASBCA) applicant/ developer must also pay personal income tax to LIRS.

All payments would be made to dedicated accounts and same would be verified by LIRS including the tax clearance via a letter that would be issued and sent to the General Manager of LASPPPA

Issuance of development permit/ approval

Sequel to confirmation of payment into the dedicated account, officials of LIRS would issue a letter to the GM (as stated above). The letter would enable LASPPPA to complete the approval process and development permit is issued to the applicant/developer.

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PROCESS

After getting the approval from LASPPPA, there is need for LASBCA to grant approval to commence construction. The developer cannot just mobilize workers to site on the basis of obtaining approval. Developer must take the approval to LASBCA in order to get another approval to commence work.

Furthermore and during construction period, LASBCA would carryout inspection and certify various stages of building construction. Recall that payment would have been made to LASBCA for stage certification. Hence, LASBCA must always certify level of progress.

MOVING INTO YOUR HOUSE AFTER COMPLETION OF DEVELOPMENT

After completing the development, LASBCA must issue certificate of completion of building construction and fitness for habitation before the developer or house owner can move in

VALIDITY OF APPROVAL

As stated in section 37(2) of the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010, all granted approval has 2 years validity within which the developer must commence development. i.e once approval is granted, within the next 2 years, work must have begun on the site, otherwise the approval will lose its validity. The law is silent on when you can complete your development, but speaks on when to commence.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY APPROVAL BECOMES IN VALID AFTER 2 YEARS OF NOT COMMENCING DEVELOPMENT?

An invalid approval for not commencing development would need to be revalidated with LASPPPA as stated in section 37(3) of the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010,

PROFESSIONALS TO ENGAGE FOR PLANNING APPROVAL

In consonance with the LAGOS STATE PHYSICAL PLANNING PERMIT REGULATIONS, 2019 issued by TPL (Dr.) Idiris Okanla̕ Salako the Commissioner for Urban and Regional Planning, the following are the appropriate relevant professionals registered to practice in Nigeria:

(i) an Architect, registered with the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (A.R.C.O.N.);

(ii) an Engineer, registered with the Council for the Regulations of Engineering (COREN) in Nigeria;

(iii) a Town Planner, registered with the Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC);

(iv) a Licensed Surveyor, registered with the Surveyors Registration Council of Nigeria (SURCON);

(v) a Builder, registered with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON);

(vi) an Estate Surveyor and Valuer registered with the Estate Surveyor and Valuer Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON);

(vii) a Quantity Surveyor registered with the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN);

Different uses land can be subjected to in Lagos State

There are various kinds of land uses in Lagos state, some of which include:

  • RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
  • COMMERCIAL
  • PETROL/GAS FILLING STATION (PFS)
  • INDUSTRIAL
  • AGRICULTURAL
  • INSTITUTIONAL

Documents to submit

There are various documents to be submitted to Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) before an approval is granted, likewise steps to be taken.

The below table captures every details of documents to be submitted in line with the kind of building

S/NThe kind of building you want to buildDocuments to submitClearances(s) from other Agencies or ministries where applicable
1If you are building a bungalow (single floor building) or a storey building (two floor building i.e ground and first floor)· 5 sets of Architectural Drawing. · 5 sets of Structural Drawing(applicable to only two floor buildings, not for bungalows)  · Soil test report · Evidence of Land Ownership/Title Document. · Evidence of payment of Applicant Tax. · Receipts of payment of Statutory Fees. · 1 Sun print copy of Survey Plan or Beacon Sheet.In cases where any of the following clearances are required, LASPPPA would notify the applicant   · Land Use Allocation Directorate and Land Services Department. · Ministry of Transportation (Metro Line Project) · Ministry of Environment (drainage alignment, gorge, flood plains, river/water bodies, lagoon, shoreline clearance e.t.c.) · Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority · Lagos State Surveyor General’s Office. · New Towns development Authority. · Lagos State Revenue Services. · Lagos State Fire Services · The Nigeria Police · Nigerian Air and Civil Aviation (NACA)
2If you are building a property on 3 or 4 floors (ground, first, second or third floor)· 5 sets of Architectural Drawings · 5 sets of Structural Drawing, i, Letter of Supervision ii, Calculation Sheets iii, Letter of structural stability in case of existing structures. · Soil test report · Mechanical and Electrical Drawings (only in case of Public Institutions). · Evidence of Land Ownership/Title Document. · Evidence of payment of Applicant Tax. · Receipts of payment of Statutory Fees. · 1 Sun print copy of Survey Plan or Beacon Sheet. · Soil Investigation Report · Lagos State Revenue Services. · Insurance Certificate · Submission of Environmental Impact Assessment Report in case of Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, POW, Residential of more than eight (8) family unit or any other Public Institutions DevelopmentsIn cases where any of the following clearances are required, LASPPPA would notify the applicant   · Land Use Allocation Directorate and Land Services Department. · Ministry of Transportation (Metro Line Project) · Ministry of Environment (drainage alignment, gorge, flood plains, river/water bodies, lagoon, shoreline clearance e.t.c.) · Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority · Lagos State Surveyor General’s Office. · New Towns development Authority. · Lagos State Revenue Services. · Lagos State Fire Services · The Nigeria Police · Nigerian Air and Civil Aviation (NACA)
3If you are building a property on 5 or 6 floors (ground, first, second third fourth, fifth or sixth floor)· 5 sets of Architectural Drawings · 5 sets of Structural Drawing, i, Letter of Supervision ii, Calculation Sheets iii, Letter of structural stability in case of existing structures. · Soil test report · Mechanical and Electrical Drawings (only in case of Public Institutions). · Evidence of Land Ownership/Title Document. · Evidence of payment of Applicant Tax. · Receipts of payment of Statutory Fees. · 1 Sun print copy of Survey Plan or Beacon Sheet. · Soil Investigation Report · Lagos State Revenue Services. · Insurance Certificate · Submission of Environmental Impact Assessment Report in case of Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, POW, Residential of more than eight (8) family unit or any other Public Institutions DevelopmentsIn cases where any of the following clearances are required, LASPPPA would notify the applicant   · Land Use Allocation Directorate and Land Services Department. · Ministry of Transportation (Metro Line Project) · Ministry of Environment (drainage alignment, gorge, flood plains, river/water bodies, lagoon, shoreline clearance e.t.c.) · Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority · Lagos State Surveyor General’s Office. · New Towns development Authority. · Lagos State Revenue Services. · Lagos State Fire Services · The Nigeria Police · Nigerian Air and Civil Aviation (NACA)
4If you are building a property on 7 or more floors (ground, first, second third fourth, fifth sixth, seventh and more floors)· 5 sets of Architectural Drawings · 5 sets of Structural Drawing, i, Letter of Supervision ii, Calculation Sheets iii, Letter of structural stability in case of existing structures. · Soil test report · Mechanical and Electrical Drawings (only in case of Public Institutions). · Evidence of Land Ownership/Title Document. · Evidence of payment of Applicant Tax. · Receipts of payment of Statutory Fees. · 1 Sun print copy of Survey Plan or Beacon Sheet. · Soil Investigation Report · Lagos State Revenue Services. · Insurance Certificate · Submission of Environmental Impact Assessment Report in case of Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, POW, Residential of more than eight (8) family unit or any other Public Institutions DevelopmentsIn cases where any of the following clearances are required, LASPPPA would notify the applicant   · Land Use Allocation Directorate and Land Services Department. · Ministry of Transportation (Metro Line Project) · Ministry of Environment (drainage alignment, gorge, flood plains, river/water bodies, lagoon, shoreline clearance e.t.c.) · Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority · Lagos State Surveyor General’s Office. · New Towns development Authority. · Lagos State Revenue Services. · Lagos State Fire Services · The Nigeria Police · Nigerian Air and Civil Aviation (NACA)

WHERE ARE LASPPPA OFFICES IN YOUR LGA IN LAGOS?

S/NDISTRICT OFFICESLOCATION
1Agbado/IpajaJakande Housing Estate Beside LBIC, Abesan Estate
2AgegeAgege L G Secretariat, Stadium Rd, Agege
3AlimoshoJakande Housing Estate Beside LBIC, Abesan Estate
4Amuwo-OdofinNTDA Building, Jakande Housing Estate Mile 2
5ApapaApapa LG Secretariat, 3, Burma Rd, Apapa
6BadagryPWD(Works Yard), off Hospital Rd, GRA Badagry
7EkoZapas Building, Freeman/Adeniji-Adele Rd, L/Island
8Mushin6, Town Planning Way, Ilupeju Mushin
9OjoMinistry of Works Zonal Office, Okokomaiko, Ojo
10SurulereSurulere LG Sect, Alhaji Masha Str, Onilegogoro, Surulere
11Somolu6, Town Planning Way, Ilupeju
12Yaba168, Herbert Macaulay Road, Adekunle Yaba
13EpeWater Works Road, Epe
14Eti-Osa1230B, Bishop Oluwole Street, V/I
15Ibeju-LekkiFormer Ibeju Lekki LG Secretariat, Akodo
16IkejaBlock 20, Old Sect, Oba Akinjobi Way
17IkoroduBeach Road, Opp. General Hospital, Ikorodu
18Ikoyi/VI1230B, Bishop Oluwole Street, V/I
19Oshodi/IsoloAlong Aimasiko Str, Off Afariogun str, Mafoluku Oshodi
20KosofeLAWMA Yard, Ogudu-Ojota Rd, Ogudu
21LASPPPAOld Sect. Oba Akinjobi Way
22LASURAOld Sect. Oba Akinjobi Way

CONCLUSION

Having read the article, you must have realized how easy/otherwise it is to obtain planning permit/approval in Lagos State.

Whatever you view is from the foregoing, it must be noted that it is illegal to carry out any physical development on any land in Lagos State, without approval and the list of professionals to engage in the process of buying, and developing your land is embedded in this article

Should you require further clarification on this or any other subject that has to do with real estate, do not hesitate to contact the author of this article.

This article expresses a personal opinion as well as the view of Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development of Lagos State’s leadership and others  pertaining to getting approvals for buildings in Lagos State, with specific references to the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law (2010) of Lagos State and does not in anyway substitute for such professional advice or services and it should not be acted on or relied upon or used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect you or your business, without consulting a qualified real estate or tax Advisor.
Ademola Ladega  (ANIVS, RSV MNIM, FIMC) is the managing partner of AOL Consult (www.aolmanagementconsult.com.ng) He is a highly experienced real estate consultant with field/practical experience spanning over 9 years, having previously worked at Ismail and Partners, where he contributed a great deal to the success of the firm and rose to the position of the Head of Valuation and Senior Associate. He is presently serving as the Secretary of the Plant and Equipment Faculty of the Nigeria institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, having been appointed in July, 2020 
Mr Ladega has extensive experience of providing valuation services in Nigeria to large public and private companies in many sectors including utilities, banking, insurance, financial services, agro-industrial, shipping, commercial and trading sectors. As well as experience in reporting in accordance with the regulatory requirements of Nigeria, in full compliance with ESVARBON Nigeria Valuation Standards (Green Book) 2018 IPSAS, IFRS, RICS,  and IVS 2020

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