PROCESSES INVOLVED IN ACQUIRING AND DEVELOPING LAND IN LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT SCHEME
Land is where all human activities take place. Because it is where all material wealth comes from, it is an important part of all human activities on earth.
As a way to regulate and balance how land is used, governments all over the world have set up different land management and administrative systems. This is to make sure that land is used equally by everyone, no matter what their position is.
Nigeria had a customary land tenancy system before it was taken over by the British. In this system, land is owned by villages, towns, communities, and families. No one person can make a claim to land that is 100% true.
During the time of colonialism, the colonial masters did a lot of reforms that changed how land was owned. Now, the government owns the land instead of the people. The Land Use Act of 1978 was passed to make land in Nigeria owned by the government and to make it easier for the government to control how land is used and developed.
When the Governors of each state use the power given to them, they can buy land for public use through residential schemes and give it to people who live in the state. This helps meet the housing needs of the people who live in the state.
This paper looks at the different housing plans made by the Lagos State Government in Nigeria. It also talks about how to join any of these plans and what goes into making them.
SOME GOVERNMENT RESIDENTIAL SCHEMES IN LAGOS STATE
Lagos State has 5 divisions. Within these 5 divisions, there are 20 Local Government Areas that are required by the constitution and an additional 37 Local Council Development Areas. The programs made by the Lagos State Government can be found in each of the five areas 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.
- Badagry Division: We have the Amuwo-Odofin, Ijanikin Rose Garden, Safe-Court Garden Ijanikin, Mosafejo Aradagun Scheme and Sunny Field Scheme.
- Ikeja Division: We have the well-known Magodo Scheme and Isheri residential scheme, as well as the Oko-Oba Scheme, Omole Scheme, Fortune Garden Residential Scheme and Ilasamaja Industrial Scheme Isolo.
- Ikorodu Division: Ikorodu GRA 2 and 3 and the Millennium residential scheme
AGENTS IN LAGOS STATE THAT RUN THE GOVERNMENT SCHEME
There are four main government MDAs that are directly in charge of running and making plans for all Lagos State Government Schemes. These organizations are the New Towns Development Authority (NTDA), the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the Land Use and Allocation Committee (LUAC), and the Office of the Surveyor General of Lagos State.
- NTDA: The Agency is in charge of setting up new towns and developing schemes in Lagos State. It is also in charge of providing infrastructure in government estates, keeping an eye on unapproved developments in government estates with the help of the Ministry of Physical Planning Development, and helping other government ministries/agencies and private developers choose the best places to build.
- Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development: This ministry is in charge of making sure that everything in Lagos State is going well. Together with the NTDA, the ministry is also making the Layout Plan for the schemes. The layout has different types of land use based on where they are. In a typical Layout, there are residential plots, commercial plots, community gardens, land used for recreation, and land used for industry.
- Land Use and Allocation Committee: The Land Use and Allocation Committee handles and coordinates all issues related to land distribution and the management of different schemes in the state that are open to the public. This includes the processing and issuing of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) and any other tasks that the Governor may give them.
- Office of the General Surveyor: Under the Land Use Act, the main job of the Office of the State Surveyor General is to provide Survey Framework to make it easier to register Certificates of Occupancy. One of the jobs of the Office is to work with the New Towns Development Authority and the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to do a Survey of Government development plans.
HOW TO GET LAND THROUGH A GOVERNMENT PLAN
The different programs that the Lagos State Government owns and runs have been listed above. Some of these plans have already been taken up, so you can only buy them on the secondary market or from the people who were given them in the first place. However, you can still buy some of these plans directly from the Lagos State Government.
Here are some of the steps you need to take to buy plots from the Lagos State Government directly.
- Those who want to buy a plot can get a form from the Lands Bureau’s Finance department for N10, 000 and must be willing to pay half the price.
- When the form is filled out, it is sent back to the Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC)
- The next step is for the applicant to get a letter of offer of allocation, make payment and get a confirmation letter with plot and block numbers (Note that full payments must be made before Plots & Blocks are allocated)
- After all of the above steps are done, the scheme officer takes over.
- The Scheme Officer sends the file for the C of O application to the Executive Secretary of LUAC. During this time, the Surveyor General gives the Scheme Officer a digital survey.
- The Executive Secretary of LUAC would do all the necessary checks, and when they were done, the file would be sent to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Lands.
- The Senior Special Assistant (Lands) has to look over the whole file and send it to the Permanent Secretary (PS) Lands Bureau along with a cover letter.
- The PS would also do his checks, and if there were no problems with the file, the PS Lands would sign the memo and send it to the Governor (2 days)
- If there are no questions, the Governor will sign the C of O electronically after receiving the file from the PS. After the Governor approves and signs the C of O, he or she sends the file to the Deputy Registrar so that it can be processed further.
- The Deputy Registrar does more work on the file, signs it off, and then sends it to the Registrar of Titles to be registered for good.
- The Registrar of Titles registers the C of O, signs it, and asks for it to be printed. (This is the last step in making a title perfect.) At the end of a registered title, C of O or Deed of assignment, there is a stamp that says, “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 government agencies that are part of the land administration cycle must do the things I’ve listed above. Before the above processes can start and be done, applicants need to send in the following items and documents.
- A formal letter sent to the Executive Secretary of the Land Use and Allocation Committee at Block 13, Room 4, Lands Bureau, The Secretariat, Alausa in Ikeja.
- A Standard Allocation Form with a receipt: Lekki Peninsula Schemes, Abijo Commercial and Industrial (Form for Prime Land); other areas (Form for General)
- Four photos with a white background for a passport
- Proof that you paid your income tax
- Current development levy (For companies, you need evidence of payment of Income Tax of Two Directors and Development Levy)
- A map of the area
- All receipts for payment of Land Charges
- Important Information Sheet
DEVELOPING LAND WITHIN GOVERNMENT SCHEME
There are several clauses in the Letters of Allocation and Certificates of Occupancy that are given to allotees of the Government Scheme that make it clear that the land must be fully developed within two years of when the Certificate of Occupancy is given. If you don’t follow these rules, it could be a breach. The government has always told plot owners in the scheme to start building on their land or the State will take it away.
Before any development can start on a piece of land in Lagos State, a development permit must be requested from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. The agency in charge of giving development permits is the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), which is part of the Ministry.
Before sending people to the site, all developers must first fill out an application with the agency. Before a developer can get a development permit, there are steps that need to be taken. Applicants must submit the following documents for review through the electronic Planning Permit Platform at www.lagosepp.com.ng or by going to the nearest LASPPPA District Office to their developments or the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority at Muiz Banire Street, GRA, Ikeja:
- Proof that you own the land, like a purchase receipt with stamp duty, duly-executed deeds and other official documents
- Survey Plan
- Five sets of building plans
- Five sets of building plans
- Five sets of working drawings (commercial building)
- 5 sets of drawings for electrical work (commercial building)
- Payment of taxes
- A Technical Report on Planning (where necessary)
- If it’s needed, a letter of permission form
- Development Levy paid to-
- Committee on the Use of Land and Allocation
- The New Town Development Agency (NTDA)
- Environment Ministry (Drainage Department)
- Metro Alignment and Traffic Report from the Ministry of Transportation
- A copy of the assessment fee payment
- In the case of Corporate Bodies, these requirements must also be met:
- Corporation Tax
- Proof that the payee has returned
- Certificate of Incorporation
- If needed, other documents to back up your claim
Once all of these things have been done, the Architectural drawing can be stamped with the registration and approval number to show that it has been approved. Once you’ve done that, you can start building on your land in the government scheme.
DEVELOPING LAND IN GOVERNMENT SCHEME WITHOUT APPROVAL
Every building and property in the state must be validated and made legal according to the rules of the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. This is true whether the building or property is on Government Scheme land or private land.
The Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2010 is the law that controls how Lagos State grows. Former Governor Babatunde Fashola signed the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2010 in July 2010. Its goal is to have zero tolerance for collapsed buildings, illegal development, and not following development plans.
Before anyone could build a building, the law said that they had to get a development permit. So, according to the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, developers who don’t follow the rules will be prosecuted.
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