Land constitute the platform upon which all human endeavors take place, hence plays an important role in every human activity on earth as it is the source of all material wealth. As a basis of regulation and balancing use of land, government across the world set up different land management and administrative system, to ensure land is evenly distributed and made available for use of everyone irrespective of their position.
Land holding system in Nigeria during the pre-colonial period was the customary land tenancy where land is simply under the control of villages, towns, communities and families. No one individual can lay claim to land in absoluteness. During the colonial era, the colonial masters did a lot of reforms that changed the communal land ownership and now vested ownership to the government.
The Land Use Act of 1978 was enacted to nationalize land Ownership in Nigeria as well as facilitate effective state control of the use and development of land.
In exercising the power conferred on the governors of each state, the governors can acquire land for public use through residential schemes for allocation to residents in the state as part of efforts to meet the housing needs of citizens of the state. This paper examines the various residential schemes created by the Lagos State Government in Nigeria and further discusses how to subscribe to any of these schemes and processes involved in developing same.
SOME GOVERNMENT RESIDENTIAL SCHEMES IN LAGOS STATE
There are 5 divisions in Lagos State and in these 5 divisions; we have the constitutionally recognized 20 Local Government Areas and the 37 additional Local Council Development Areas. The schemes created by the Lagos State Government are available in each of the five divisions which are listed below
Lagos Island Division: Lekki Pennisula Scheme 1, Lekki Pennisula Scheme 2, Abijo GRA, Lekki Pennisula Foreshore, Ibeju/Iberekodo Industrial Scheme, Fairmont Garden, Golden Jubilee Residential Scheme, Sangotedo and Moremi Residential Scheme.
Epe Division: In Epe Division, we have Orisan Waterfront; Agbowa mixed scheme, Light Industrial Scheme, Teachers’ Village, Temu and Valley View Mixed development schemes respectively.
Badagry Division: We have Amuwo-Odofin, Ijanikin Rose Garden, Safe-Court Garden Ijanikin, Mosafejo Aradagun Scheme and Sunny Field Scheme.
Ikeja Division: We have Oko-Oba Scheme, Omole Scheme, Fortune Garden Residential Scheme, Ilasamaja Industrial Scheme Isolo, apart from the well known Magodo Scheme and Isheri residential scheme.
Ikorodu Division: Ikorodu GRA 2 and 3 and Millennium residential scheme
AGENCIES THAT MANAGES GOVERNMENT SCHEME IN LAGOS STATE
There are four primary government MDAs (Ministry Department and Agencies) directly responsible for the management and design of all Lagos State Government Schemes. These agencies are The New Towns Development Authority (NTDA) Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Land Use and Allocation Committee (LUAC) and Office of the Surveyor General of Lagos State.
The Agency is responsible for Establishment of New Towns and Development of Schemes in Lagos State, as well as Provision of Infrastructure in Government Estates, Monitoring of unauthorized developments within Government Estates in liaison with the Ministry of Physical Planning Development and Site selection for other Government Ministries/Agencies and private developers.
Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development: The ministry is responsible for the overall control of developments in Lagos State. The ministry also work with the NTDA is preparing the Layout Plan for the schemes. The layout consists of different land use by zoning. In a typical Layout there are residential plots, commercial plots, neighbourhood garden, recreational land use and industrial use.
LAND USE AND ALLOCATION COMMITTEE
The Land Use and Allocation Committee treat and coordinates all matters that border on Land allocation and management of various existing Schemes in the State to the public; Processing and issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and other duties as may be assigned by His Excellency, the Governor.
OFFICE OF THE STATE SURVEYOR -GENERAL
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. The Office is charged amongst others with the responsibility of Survey of Government development schemes in conjunction with the New Towns Development Authority and Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
HOW TO ACQUIRE LAND IN A GOVERNMENT SCHEME
The various schemes under the ownership and management of the Lagos State Government have been listed above. Some of these schemes are fully subscribed and no longer available in the primary market (direct allocation/sale by Government) except from secondary market (buying from original allottees) while some others are still available for purchase from the Lagos State Government.
Below are some of the steps involved is buying plots directly from Lagos State Government within the scheme
To acquire a plot, the applicants can approach the Finance department of the Lands Bureau to obtain a form with
N10,000 and must be willing to pay half of the price. Upon filling of the form, same is returned back to Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC)
The next step is for Applicant to collects letter of offer of allocation, payment is made and the applicant is issued a letter of confirmation with plot and block number (Note that full payments must be made before Plots & Blocks are allocated)
Upon concluding the above processes, the scheme officer takes charge therefrom. The Scheme Officer processes application for C of O by sending the file to the Executive Secretary LUAC. During this period, The Surveyor General provides Scheme Officer with digitized survey. The Executive Secretary LUAC would do all the necessary checks and upon conclusion, the file is sent to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Lands
The Senior Special Assistant (Lands) is to vet the entire file and sends file/application with a covering memo to the Permanent Secretary (PS) Lands Bureau. The PS would also carryout his checks and if file has no query, PS Lands signs off on the memo and sends file to Governor (2 days)
The Governor upon receiving file from the PS will approve file and electronically sign the C of O if there is no query. Upon approval and signing of C of O, the Governor signs off and sends file to the Deputy Registrar for further processing. The Deputy Registrar processes file further, thereafter sign off and send the file to the Registrar of Titles for final registration. The Registrar of Titles registers the C of O, signs off and request for printing of C of O (Registration is the last Stage of title perfection. Notice towards the end of registered title, C of O or Deed of assignment, the popular stamp appears with ‘This instrument is registered as No 12, Page 12 in Volume XYZ at the Land registry office, Ikeja)
DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED BY APPLICANTS FOR GOVERNMENT SCHEME LAND ACQUISITION
The above highlighted processes are to be undertaken by the government agencies involved in the land administration cycle. Below are the documents/items to be submitted by applicants before the above processes can be commenced and actualized
- A formal Letter addressed to the Executive Secretary – Land Use and Allocation Committee located at Block 13, Room 4, Lands Bureau, The Secretariat, Alausa in Ikeja
- A Standard Allocation Form with receipt – Lekki Peninsula Schemes, Abijo Commercial and Industrial (Form for Prime Land); other areas (Form for General);
- Four passport photographs with white background
- Evidence of Income Tax payment
- Current development levy (For companies, you need evidence of payment of Income Tax of Two Directors and Development Levy)
- A survey plan
- All payment receipts of Land Charges
- Vital Information Form
DEVELOPING LAND WITHIN GOVERNMENT SCHEME
There are various clauses in the Letters of Allocation and Certificates of Occupancy issued to allotees of Government Scheme which states categorically that land must be fully developed within 2 years from the date of issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy. Failure to comply with these clauses could constitute a breach. The Government has always warned plot owners in the scheme to commence the development of their plots, or have them confiscated by the State
It is important to note that before any development can be commenced on any land in Lagos State, there is need for development permit to be sought from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. Under the Ministry is the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) the agency responsible for granting development permit. All intending developers must apply to the agency before they can mobilize personnel to the site.
There are processes involved before development permit can be granted to a developer. Applicants are to submit the under-listed documents for assessment via the electronic Planning Permit Platform www.lagosepp.com.ng or to visit the nearest LASPPPA District Offices to their developments or the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, Muiz Banire Street, GRA, Ikeja:
1) Proof of Land Ownership such as Purchase Receipt with Stamp Duty,
duly – executed Deeds along with other Statutory Documents;
2) Survey Plan
3) 5 sets of Architectural Drawings
4) 5 sets of Structural Drawings
5) 5 sets of Mechanical Drawings (commercial building)
6) 5 sets of Electrical Drawings (commercial building)
7) Tax Clearance
8) Planning Technical Report(where necessary)
9) Where necessary clearance letter from
10) Development Levy.
i) Land Use and allocation committee
ii) New Town Development Authority (NTDA)
iii)Ministry of Environment (Drainage Department)
iv)Ministry of Transportation (Metro Alignment / Traffic Report)
11) Photocopy of payment of assessment fee
In the case of Corporate Bodies, in addition to the above requirements:
I. Company Tax;
II. Evidence of Payee Returns;
III. Certificate of Incorporation; and
IV. Other supporting documents, where required
Once the above requirements have been met, then the Architectural drawing can be stamped as approved with the registration and approval number. With that being done, you can commence development of you land in the government scheme.
DEVELOPING LAND IN GOVERNMENT SCHEME WITHOUT APPROVAL
Every property/building in the state must be validated and regularized in line with the specifications of the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, irrespective of whether the building/property is within Government Scheme or private land. There exist the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010 that regulates development in Lagos State.
The Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010 was endorsed in July 2010, by Former Governor Babatunde Fashola and its aimed at achieving zero tolerance to incidents of collapsed buildings, illegal development and non – conformity with development plans.
The law stipulated that before anyone could erect a structure, such a person must obtain development permit. Hence, developers who fail to conform to relevant regulations would be prosecuted in accordance with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law
Sample of Golden Jubilee Residential Scheme Layout as designed by NTDA