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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Lagos Govt. removes over 300 distressed buildings,

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As a measure to prevent casualties across Lagos, the State Government has disclosed that 301 distressed buildings were removed within the last one year in different communities in the state.

It added that 53 distressed buildings were still in different communities, awaiting demolition after occupants have been dislodged to prevent casualties.

Meanwhile, the government has announced a 40 per cent rebate on Planning Permit payments to owners of existing buildings during the 90 days amnesty window created to ensure proper documentations in the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Oluyinka Olumide, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on e-GIS and Urban Development, Dr. Olajide Babatunde, disclosed the 2024 ministerial press briefing held on Wednesday.

Babatunde revealed that 354 distressed buildings were earmarked for demolition across the state out of which 85 percent, representing 300.9, had been pulled down by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) officials.

He said: “85 percent of the 354 of the identified distressed buildings in the state has been removed including those built under powerline.

Earlier, Olumide explained that the initiative is to encourage property owners in the State to do the right thing by ensuring their properties pass all official procedures.

He also noted that Mr Governor has graciously granted a 90-day amnesty period to owners/developers of existing property to regularise their property and help in promoting a sustainable physical environment.

Olumide disclosed that the Amnesty initiative would allow owners and developers of existing buildings to obtain planning permits without the payment of statutory penal fees within the amnesty window from May 2 to July 30, 2024, with a 5% discount applicable to payments completed within 10 working days of the bill’s issuance.

He described the incentives, that is the rebate to civil servants and the Amnesty Programme, as a relief measure to mitigate the effects of the current economic hardship being experienced in the built environment, adding that applicants are expected to submit all relevant documents for assessment through the LASPPPA Head Office and District Offices in the 57 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas.

“Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu-led administration is not leaving any stone unturned in bequeathing a Lagos Smart City that is premised on a sustainable functional Physical Environment, achievable only by wholesale compliance with regulatory requirements.

“The administration which is people-oriented and compassionate in formulating policies that favour inclusiveness, ease of compliance and citizens’ participation has given the 40 per cent rebate in planning permit for Civil Servants to get more and more of them to experience the process and become wilful advocates of the good works of the government in the sector and also the Amnesty Window of three months that we just opened last week to allow planning permit applications from owners of existing developments without payment of the statutory penalty is a good case in point.

“For emphasis, the window opens from May 2nd to July 30th, 2024, when the waiver on penalty payments on existing developments shall subsist”, he added.

The Commissioner, while appreciating Mr Governor on the gesture, warned that non-compliance would draw the wrath of the government that is determined to do good for the largest number of Lagosians. He stated that the administration would not compromise the safety of every individual in the State.

According to him, “I hereby solicit the continued cooperation of the general public to adhere strictly to the Physical Planning Laws of Lagos State by following the standard steps to the planning and construction of buildings to promote safety and orderly, livable, and sustainable environment for the wellness and wellbeing of the people.

“Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has charged every officer under this responsibility to take the life of every Lagosian as important as theirs and be steadfast in discharging their duties to ensure no further collapse of buildings, neither should there be the loss of any life. With this rebate and after the 90-Day Amnesty, any property that falls on the wrong side of physical planning laws shall face the consequences squarely”, he stressed.

The Commissioner also highlighted some of the activities embarked upon by the Office of Physical Planning including the over 74% rate in the grant of Planning Permits in the last year and the preparation and review of Master Plans and Model City Plans such as the Lagos Island Model City Plan and Alimosho Model City Plan.

Others are the preparation of nine Action Area Plans, nine Development Guide Plans and the delivery of the right of way for 16 public infrastructure projects in the State.

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