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Lagos moves against illegal building conversion in govt schemes

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By Dada Jackson

The Lagos State Government has restated its commitment to restoring government residential schemes in the state to their original plans as it communicates its intention to commence a week-long monitoring and enforcement in Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1 and Magodo Residential Scheme I and II.

It says it will focus on those who have indiscriminately converted their buildings from residential to commercial.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, who dropped the hint in his office at Alausa, stated that government schemes ought to remain residential with provision for services as planned but the schemes had been bastardised by indiscriminate conversion of buildings from residential to commercial by some of the residents.

He added that if the pervasive lawlessness in these estates was allowed to go on, the future would spell doom for the carefully designed upper-income residential schemes.

Salako noted that well-meaning residents had inundated the state government with complaints and sought  a redress of the untoward situation.

The commissioner recalled that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development had engaged and dialogue with residents of the estates severally with a view to righting the wrongs.

“It is noteworthy that engagements with Magodo Phases I and II Residents Association produced the Revised Magodo Scheme I and II which has since become effective”, he said.

He emphasised that indiscriminate conversion of government schemes from residential  to commercial would not be tolerated in Lagos State and urged those liable of any unlawful conversion to brace for the ministry’s enforcement activities.

“Our monitoring and enforcement team will be visiting all other government schemes for similar action in due course. I hereby urge that every part of the state should take a cue from this by desisting from undue conversion of properties without approval of the appropriate authorities,” he said.

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Property

Building code bill: Inadequate awareness responsible for passage delay

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By Dada Jackson
Inadequate awareness by professionals and members of the public on the importance of the National Building Code to the built environment has been ascribed as being responsible for the delay in its passage by members of the National Assembly.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos State Branch, Mr David Majekodunmi, disclosed this in an interview.
According to him, efforts by professionals and the public at large in sensitising members of NASS in seeing the need to expedite action on the passage of the Code, to say the least, had been ‘insufficient’ in galvanising the NASS members to do the needful.
His words: “Professionals and the public who will benefit immensely if the Code is passed into law, have not done enough in terms of lobbying the NASS members in looking at the prospect of passing the Code. It is quite pathetic, that less than 30 per cent or so of the practising professionals knew about the National Building Code when they were in tertiary institutions.
Majekodunmi said that the delay in the passage of the NBC has ‘seriously’ impacted negatively on the construction industry.
He was quick to add that the earlier the Code was passed into law, the better it would be for the growth of the built environment.
He regretted a situation where since the first edition of the code was signed by the then Minister of Housing, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, in 2006, and up until now (15 years after), nothing had been done to upgrade or give it legal backing.
The NIA helmsman expressed worry over this development pointing out that this has brought about an unregulated construction process.

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News

Land use act should be amended not abrogated – Erhabor

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By Dada Jackson

 

The unending controversy surrounding the Land Use Act seems to be escalating by the day considering the furore it is generating in the polity.

Over the years,there has been a clamour for the document to be either amended or completely discarded.

But the argument continues on what to do with the document.

Some professionals and stakeholders in the construction industry have also been expressing divergent views on areas of the document that has to do with the powers of Governors in granting Certificate of Occupancy(CofO) to prospective land seekers.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Independent, a chartered land surveyor, Mr. Gowin Erhabor, said that the act which was a creation of former military Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1978 was to transfer the ownership of land to the government.

According to him,the idea which was lofty, had since been abused by some state Governors to the detriment of some people.

He said he does not subscribe to the outright abrogation of the Act but submitted,that it should be amended especially the section that confers absolute power on state Governors to grant approvals for CofO.

The land surveyor pointed out,that over the years,some Governors have used that power to muscle perceived political opponent’s thereby frustrating their efforts at acquiring and.

He said ” For instance if a Governor does not like the face of someone he sees as his political for,he would do everything at his disposal to deny such an individual yge opportunity of getting a land. This power conferred on Governors in the document us too enormous to allow it continue.I detest thus section of the Act,hence it should be jettisoned without much ado”.

Erhabor however commended the National Assembly for initiating the move to amend the Act,urging them to expedite action on its passage.

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Business

CBN restricts sugar importation to Dangote, Flour Mills, BUA

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has designated Dangote Sugar Refinery, Bua Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Company as the sole importers of sugar.

In a circular published on its website, the CBN said the three companies would have access to official foreign exchange, but with the bank’s express approval.

“Authorised dealers shall not open Forms M or access foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market for any company or the three listed above for the importation of sugar without prior and express approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the bank said.

The 16 July statement was signed by Dr. S.O. Nnaji, director trade and exchange department.

In April, the CBN had said it would no longer provide foreign currency for importers of sugar and wheat as the country tries to conserve dollar reserves and encourage local production.

The central bank justified its volte-face decision by saying the three firms, while still falling short of meeting demand, had made “reasonable progress” in producing refined sugar locally.

In 2015, the bank restricted access to foreign exchange for 41 banned items.

It has gradually added to the list since then.

The CBN Circular:

Sugar-Importation

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