Certificate of Occupancy came into existence after the Land Use Degree in 1978, this law states that all the land in urban areas are owned by the government.
The C of O is the only document that gives you an evidence of ownership for a period of ninety-nine years only, it is a document that is signed by the sitting governor of the state.
Lagos is a big urban state which is surrounded by water. Land is scarce and limited in Lagos. It is only document like the C of O that truly gives you a complete ownership of your property, so that people don’t claim your property before your very own eyes because land is scarce. There is this saying among developers in Lagos State that a property without C of O is like waste trash of paper. This is owing to the bad experience they have had.
To acquire C of O in Lagos, the following must be done: i. A proper search must be done with the Ministry of Land to find out if that area is not a government area that is to say that no individual can build on it because it has been allocated by the government for a different purpose.
- A titled deed of transfer must be done between the buyer and the seller, which must be done before a lawyer. iii. An Oba’s approval must be obtained for that particular area. iv. A detailed survey must be done by a registered surveyor and logged with the Minister of Land and Survey. v. Tax clearance must be included in it before it will be accepted.
- Your passport photograph must be taken.
Thereafter all your documents will be sent to the Ministry of Land and Survey, that will now calculate how much you will pay to get your C of O. It depends on the size of your plot and the area where your plot is situated for example, the levy for Lekki Phase one cannot be the same for an Ikoyi plot.
After the payment, you will take the staffers of the ministry to the site for inspection. This is to make sure that the land is yours and the site is not on government land, your beacon blocks are fixed etc.
The staffers of the ministry will go to any media house and announce it that your C of O is in process that anyone who has any objection to the final approval should come to the ministry to register the complains.
This will be in the media house for 21 days after which it-will be taken to the governor for final approval, which is normally, between 30-60 days.
WHY YOU NEED AN ARCHITECT TO SUPERVISE YOUR CONSTRUCTION
The Architect is the lead of the building industry and for your building to stand strong and functional, you need to involve an architect. The following are the basic reasons you need an architect.
(i) The Planning Stage.ii. The Design Stage. iii. The Construction Stage. iv. The Finishing Stage.
- THE PLANNING STAGE: At planning stage, you have to hold series of meeting, your client will show you the site, the titled document of the site, tell you this how much he has to spend on the project based on that you will now advise the client on what to do if it is a storey building or a bungalow, if he will buy blocks or he will mould block, how he is going to bring water to site, if he is sinking a borehole or he is buying water, where they are going to keep left over cements, if he is going to fence the site or leave it open. All these the architect will discuss with the client before embarking on the next stage.
- THE DESIGN STAGE: At this stage, the architect discusses with the client on excavation, soil texture when necessary and the design proper. In the design you will ask him how he wants to design it, functionality of the design, using survey plan to position building and then if it is a bungalow or a storey building he will tell you.
Then you make first presentation design, he may remove certain things or add before you do the final design. In designing, you will have to look at the age of your client and advise them e.g a man of sixty-five want to design a storey building, you advise him to go for a bungalow that since he want to live there over years, it is possible that the body will have been been weakened with diseases such as arthrities e.t.c it not even evil forces that is causing it, it naturally comes with age, the architect will advice some will listen, some will ignore you after sometime, when it starts, happening they will say the architect did not warn them. At that age climbing rungs and coming up and down may increase pains.
iii. THE CONSTRUCTION STAGE: This is the most important stage in building where by the architect has to be involved in building from foundation to the finishing stage to avoid collapse. But some people will want the architect to design, while they will take it to some cheap labourers to do it. At the end, they will say it was designed by the architect, but was it supervised by an architect? They will blame the architect for any problem and when the building collapses. They will blame it on the architect.
Whereas the unskilled labourer which they handed the project to was unable to do a good job.
- THE FINISHING STAGE: The architect must be involved in the finishing stage of any design. The architect will advise the client on the type of paint according to the pocket of the client, so you don’t have wastage.
- SAFE COST: The architect saves the money of the client unknowingly to them because during building construction, if the architect is not there, there is going to be a waste such as in the roof to be used according to the pocket of the client. An architect saves you cost especially during construction.