Mrs. Yetunde Onabule is the Special Adviser to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode on Urban Development. A few weeks back, she spoke on the activities of the Lands Bureau in the last one year. Below are excerpts of the media briefing.
The Lands Bureau is entrusted with responsibilities on Land policy and Land Matters in the State. It creates, manages Residential and Industrial Schemes and ensures the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy on landed properties.
In cases where interests on land are revoked, the Bureau ensures prompt payment of compensation on acquired lands, and resolves land disputes in conjunction with other relevant Government agencies like The New Towns Development Authority (NTDA) which has the mandate to create new and better planned human settlements for the citizenry, ensure even development of the State by decongesting the metropolis, thereby stemming slum development. Apart from providing decent and quality site and service schemes, the Authority also provides modern and functional Infrastructure in those schemes.
There is also the Office of the State Surveyor General which is among other responsibilities, saddled with the responsibility of providing and managing survey framework of the State. The Office of the State Surveyor General establishes a parcel-based information system which supports land administration, surveying, physical planning and taxation; digital orthophotos and lidar imagery photos for the whole State,provision and development of land databank and land related information systems. They also engage in initiation, formulation, execution, monitoring and evaluating of policies relating to land survey matters and mapping matters.
I would like to commence by first presenting to you an account of our stewardship as the second highest revenue generating agency in Lagos State, and against the backdrop of the mandate of His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to us at Lands Bureau OSSG & NTDA, taking into consideration some challenges which we have to deal with.
In justifying our status as the second highest revenue generating Agency in Lagos State, I honorably submit that our gross earnings in the year under review is put at N10, 579, 447, 528.68(Ten Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy – One Million, Four Hundred and Forty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty- Eight Naira, Sixty –Eight kobo) only. The revenue performance for the year under consideration is put at 59% of the Bureau’s budget for the period.
Please note that the revenue of the Lands Bureau will definitely improve at the kickoff of the New Schemes, subsequent transactions on State Land, payment by defaulters of Capital Development Levy and the recent redesigning and upgrading of the Land Registry.
In the same vein, the Office of the State Surveyor General in the last three years of this administration, has consistently recorded high performance in the achievement of its revenue target.
The said Office achieved 118% performance of the 2017 budget and has intensified efforts towards not only achieving the year 2018 budget target, but surpassing it.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (C of O)
We have a mandate, as a Government, to title all lands in Lagos State. In consonance with this objective, His Excellency, Mr. AkinwunmiAmbode, Governor of Lagos State, passionate about obtaining title documents with ease in present cosmopolitan Lagos, signed a total of 727 Electronic Certificate of Occupancy (E-C of O) within the period under review.
Cumulatively, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, His Excellency, the Governor,had signed a total of 5, 172 of such Certificatesin the last 3years of his administration.
It is worthy to note to state that the zeal by the generality of our citizens at obtaining title documents has tremendously increased following the awareness consciously created by this administration.
GOVERNOR’S CONSENT ON SUBSEQUENT TRANSACTION
In our bid to improve on service delivery especially with respect to Governor’s Consent on Subsequent Transaction on land at the Directorate of Land Services, it was discovered that about 751 (Seven Hundred and Fifty-One) applications were pending and had not been processed further due to the fact that applicants were yet to make payments on the Demand Notices issued to them.
In light of the above, frantic efforts were made at contacting the applicants and details of these applications were published in the Nation Newspaper of Monday, February 19, 2018, pages 27-29.
Further to this, the affected applicants were required to make the necessary payments in order to enhance prompt processing of their applications.
Also we will like to implore affected applicants to please note, that failure to make required payments is tantamount to the applications being rejected and appropriate measures will be taken against such properties.
Within the period under review, receipt of applications on subsequent transaction on land has been quite impressive which shows that Lagosians are more aware of the essence of titling their landed properties.
The table below gives us an overview of the list of activities on subsequent transactions on land between April, 2017 and March, 2018.
PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPERS PROGRAMME (PSDP)
We have avalanche of applications and requests on site selection for Private Estate Developers/lump sum allocation for business/industry, especially from the Lekki and Imota axis, while there are still other applications/ requestson PSDP from other areas in the State that have been processed to approval stage .
Without gainsaying, we have been fully engaging squatters/ land speculators in these areas towards resolving encroachment issues. Believe me, it has been a herculean task to ward-off encroachers from these lands.
In the light of this, we have forwarded a proposal for the clearing and engagement of security for the under listed PSDP Schemes to be executed within the year 2018 in the Lekki Sub-region:-
(I.) Aiyeteju Private Estate Developers Scheme. (II.) Idera City Scheme. (III.) Iberekodo Mixed Development/Industrial Scheme. (IV.) Ibeju Mixed Development Scheme (Extension). (V.) Ibeju Coastal City Scheme
REVIEW OF PROCESSES FOR EASE OF DOING BUSINESS.
I say unequivocally that our efforts in the Ease of Doing Business in Lagos State have yielded in the cumulative ranking and upward movement of the Country on the World Bank ranking index, no doubt.
In Lagos State, we are determined to further change the narrative. With the objective of simplifying the processes for Ease of Doing Business in mind, we commenced the review of our systems and policies to create a One-Stop Shop to facilitate unhindered and secured access to all factors of production (Land, Capital,Labour and Entrepreneurship) in the State, chief of which is Land.
We have also redesigned the layout of the Land Registry to ensure flow of processes and transactions which, ultimately has reduced Turn-Around-Time (TAT).
This culminated in the reduction of the number of Units within the Land Registry from 11 to 3. In line with the Law, the requirement for a sworn Affidavit to conduct title Search at the Registry is no longer required.This is to further make the process faster and less cumbersome.
Furthermore, as part of our efforts to improve the Ease of Doing Business in Lagos State, the Lands Bureau, through the Directorate of Land Services, have also harmonized its Demand Notice/Assessment Letter to encompass all fees payable for Governor’s Consent.
How does this work? The Demand Notice now outlines the harmonized fees to include Consent fee, Capital Gain Tax, Stamp Duty, Registration Fee, Neighbour-hood Improvement Charge, Charting Fee as well as Endorsement and Form 1c charges.
This new payment schedule affords applicants the opportunity to pay all fees related to the issuance of Governor’s Consent in a single transaction.
In addition to the newly introduced payment regime, automated searches at the Land Registry are conducted within one hour of submission of any request, which means that applicants are no longer required to conduct search prior to registration of title documents.
With this newly introduced process, there is a significant reduction in the time frame for obtaining Certified True Copies (CTC) of land title documents to a maximum period of two hours.
I can further assure you that following the upgrading and restructuring the Land Registry, coupled with the on – going automation of Land Administration and a host of other reforms traversing the Bureau and its business processes. The Bureau remains committed to propel the Country’s place on the Ease of Doing Business table by up to 50 places.
I am in no doubt that by the time these initiatives are fully implemented, they will revolutionize Land Administration, not only in Lagos State, but also in Nigeria at large.
We have a mandate as handed over to us by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode,to title all lands in Lagos State. It looks herculean, but it is achievable. It takes a process which we have initiated and fervently working towards. It takes the concerted efforts of the Land Family to have gone thus far. We promise to further intensify our efforts towards building the best practices in Land Administration in Lagos State.
I must not fail to appreciate the invaluable contributions of the Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro, the General Manager, New Towns Development Authority (NTDA), Mr. WasiuAkewusola, the State Surveyor General,Mr. OlutomiSangowawa, and the entire Lands Family.