A property consultant, Mr Chudi Ubosi, on Monday called on Lagos State Government to simplify the processing and granting of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), Layout Permit and other land title documents.

Ubosi, who is African President, International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), made the call in Lagos.

He said the challenges and difficulties involved in obtaining C of O, layout permit, building plan approval, among others, were responsible for the existence of many illegal buildings in the state.

According to Ubosi, the processes and requirements are too cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive, and needs to be simplified.

He said that simplification of the processes would enhance building construction developments in the state and also impact on the general development of the economy.

According to the FIABCI boss, the cumbersome nature of the process has made developers to build without government building plan approval since the C of O was one of the requirements for getting the building plan approval.

He suggested exclusion of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) from the requirements needed for granting building plan approval in the state.

“Many buildings in the country are dead property in the sense that they cannot be used anywhere to raise funds.

“Aside not having Certificate of Occupancy, they are built and redeveloped without building or redevelopment plan approval from the government.

“This is not healthy for a developing country, as many landlords stand to lose if there is a problem that may require documents to back up claims of ownership of the property or land,” he said.

The FIABCI boss also suggested that the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) should have an office within the Lagos Town Planning office to reduce delays encountered in taking applications to the LIRS office.

He said that the bureaucratic process of moving application files to LIRS office and other responsible offices were other factors delaying the process of granting land titles.

“Let the Lagos State Government create a small office for LIRS inside the Town Planning office that will be responsible for handling land document/approval issues.

“Also, let there be periodic training and retraining of the staff that handle the processes to boost their performance and knowledge about the system,” he said.

Ubosi urged that more should be done to increase public awareness of the land registration system, saying that making the process more public-friendly required that the public should be well-informed.

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