Banana Island: Lagos Govt to stop reclaimed lands approval

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The Lagos State Government announced on Thursday that it would stop granting approval on reclaimed lands at Banana Island in Ikoyi, due to encroachments into the lagoon by developers.

Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, who made the announcement in Lagos, said that encroachments into the lagoon were disrupting the master plan of the posh estate.

Salako advised property owners and developers in the area to embrace seamless building planning permits, certification and construction laws to avoid embarrassments.

The commissioner was speaking at an interactive meeting with stakeholders on building construction on Banana Island, Osborne and other estates in Ikoyi, home to Nigeria’s super rich.

The meeting which was held in Ikoyi, was aimed at ensuring seamless processing of planning permits Lagos State.

Salako said that the ministry was engaging stakeholders rotationally across the state as part of its strategy to make the Lagos environment safe, orderly, livable and viable for all.

“Please note that this meeting is specifically targeted at ensuring that the basterdisation of the Operative Development Plan, covering this area — Ikoyi/Victoria Island Model City Plan comes to a stop and that extant laws and regulations governing physical development in the state are respected.

“Thus, this meeting should be considered as another lease for you to toe the line of the law. As respectable citizens, you are expected to be above board, especially regarding sustainable development and lawful dealings.

“This is in order to avoid serious embarrassment to your personalities as a result of your engagement in unwholesome acts, which include but are not limited to the following non-adherence to planning permits,

Salako said that illegal development of buildings would attracted sanctions and that such buildings risked demolition, warning developers against deliberate falsification of information on design drawings to deceive and short-change government.

He also warned against obtaining fake approvals in connivance with third parties or touts some of whom cut corners and use illegal administrative protection through some workers in the ministry.

The commissioner lamented encroachments on the proposed Regional Road Alignment, Coastal Road and the Lagoon Highway, which are to connect the Regional Road with the Fourth Mainland Bridge.

“This proposed road is a major catalyst for socio-economic development of the Lekki-Ajah axis as well as a furtherance of the Transportation and Traffic Management Pillar of the THEMES Agenda.”

He frowned at the illegal reclamation of parts of the Waterways Abutting Ikoyi/Victoria Island with frivolous claims, despite a Supreme Court judgement which vested all lands and physical development of same in the State Government.

“Please note that the ministry would stop granting planning permits on such reclaimed lands, regardless of clearances from Federal Government agencies.

“This is because the Federal Government has no jurisdiction/power over the lands since the landmark judgement.

“As provided by law, you are to apply for planning permit from the Ikoyi/Victoria Island District Office of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) or through our website https://epp.lagosstate.gov.ng before you commence any building construction.”

Salako noted that government had adopted measures to boost planning permit processes, in order to conclude the process in 28 days while its fast-track services would be completed within 10 days at a fee.

“In this wise, the Electronic Planning Permit (ePP) Online Platform has been re-energised to facilitate virtual and online applications for planning permits.

“It is equally important to note that you need to notify the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) (Building Plan Approval) for Stage Certification before commencement of any construction on site and subsequent issuance of Certificate of Completion and Fitness for Habitation,” he said.

The commissioner said that LASBCA had recently launched an initiative, called “Green Sticker and Site Log Book,” to help document activities and other relevant information on building construction sites.

“Consequently, owners/developers are enjoined to desist from constructing buildings prior to planning permits or different from the permit granted and to ensure that their building construction activities qualify for the Green Sticker.”

Salako called for voluntary compliance and cooperation with the Physical Planning and Urban Development and Control Law and the Regulations and Approval Orders.

He advised those with queries to seek redress through the Physical Planning Permit and Building Control Appeals Committee, which was launched in December, 2019.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Mr Ganiyu Ayuba, advised stakeholders to always approach LASPPPA and LASBCA offices for transactions.

Earlier, the General Managers of LASPPPA and LASBCA, Mr Funmi Oshifuye and Mrs Biola Kosegbe, took turns to make presentations to educate stakeholders on seamless processing of planning permits and approvals.

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