By Grace Alegba
The Lagos State Government has threatened to charge developers who break its seal on construction sites to court.
Dr Idris Salako, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development gave the warning on Wednesday during an interactive session with property correspondents in Lagos.
Salako said that the move is to forestall the incidence of building without necessary approval, adding that the government had made the process of obtaining planning permits easy.
He said that his ministry and its agencies were meticulous in monitoring construction through various stages in line with its mission.
As such, the ministry would not tolerate sharp practices to compromise standards.
“Any developer that breaks government seal henceforth would be taken to court,’’ Salako said.
He called on property owners and developers interested in obtaining Planning Permit to perfect their applications, noting that the process had been made easy to avoid delays.
The commissioner said that, except for those that like to cut corners, the requirements for Planning Permit were not cumbersome.
He said they were necessary to regulate the built environment and give room to seamless development of the state.
“Often times, the delay does not come from the government but the failure of developers to perfect their documents or get the necessary sign-off from relevant MDAs, where applicable,” he said.
Salako said that Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) had the sole right to grant Planning Permit, but other government agencies had roles to play as some activities revolved around them.
“For example, LASPPPA will not issue Permit to any development proposed along drainage alignment or road setbacks without clearance from the Office of Drainage Service and Ministry of Transport respective,” he said.
The commissioner listed other MDAs whose clearance may be required before granting Planning Permit to include; the Lagos Fire Service, the Police, Lands Bureau, Office of the Surveyor-General and Nigerian Railway Corporation.
Others are; the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Department of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Lekki Concession Company, New Towns Development Authority and the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation.
According to Salako, to further simplify the Planning Permit process, the government has implemented some reforms and set the Service Level Agreement of 28 days for processing it.
“As part of the reforms, we have rapidly increased the number of Supervisory Directors and District Officers and devolved Planning Permit Approvals down to the level of district officers,” Salako said.
Thereafter he urged those willing to quicken their applications for speedy project delivery to take advantage of the Electronic Planning Permit platform or the fast track option.