LASPPPA initiates public awareness on building planning permits

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By Rukayat Adeyemi

The Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) on Tuesday introduced several initiatives to enhance public awareness of the importance of obtaining building planning permits in the state.

The Authority also appointed Mrs Aishat Salami, a Town Planner, as the face of LASPPPA.

Dr Oluyinka Olumide, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, at the unveiling in Lagos, said that Salami was expected to promote the agency and its operations across the state.

He added that the agency had also launched LASPPPA nuggets and car stickers, reproduced in different dialects, as sensitisation tools to build trust, capacity and credibility in the planning permit processes.

According to him, this is to ensure compliance with the three-month amnesty window for completed building owners in the state to obtain planning permits.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the state government had directed property owners and developers of existing buildings without approvals to obtain Building Plan Approvals from LASPPPA between May 2 and July 30.

The state government said that property owners could apply for planning permits without paying the usual penalties during this period.

Lagos state government stated that the house owners can do that without payment of statutory penalties that usually go with erecting buildings without approval in the state.

Olumide said LASPPPA would embark on the public awareness campaign across the state in weeks ahead to change the poor narrative of response to obtaining planning permits.

He noted that physical planning involves making decisions about land uses, infrastructure, transportation, and environmental conservation in a manner that will create functional, attractive and sustainable places for people to live, work, and play.

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“You will all agree with me that the importance of this noble profession in creating sustainable and resilient villages, towns and cities may not be felt by people without adequate publicity or public sensitisation.

“Public sensitisation in physical planning parlance is a method of information dissemination and engagement between Town Planners and relevant stakeholders.

“It allows for public consultations and awareness campaigns of plans, policies and development proposals transparently and inclusively that meet the aspirations and buy-in of benefitting stakeholders,” he said.

In his address, Mr Kehinde Osinaike, General Manager, LASPPPA, urged residents, property owners, developers and stakeholders in the built environment to key into the dream of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu by obtaining planning permits for their projects.

Osinaike said that the state government’s approval of a three-month amnesty programme for existing buildings across the state is part of its palliative measure to ameliorate the effect of the present economic situation.

The general manager noted that Gov.Sanwo-Olu equally approved a five per cent rebate for anyone who keys into the programme by paying a processing fee for the grant of planning permit within 10 days of issuance of assessment.

According to him, the governor has also granted a 40 per cent rebate for serving civil servants in the state public service with existing buildings.

“Let us educate and inspire our fellow citizens to make planning permits a priority for their building projects,” he said.

In his goodwill message, the Commissioner for the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, lauded LASPPPA for the initiative.

Omotosho charged the management and staff of the agency to ensure that the sensitisation travels far and wide to the interior parts of the state.

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He urged property owners in the state to ensure that they obtain their planning permit within the three-month amnesty window provided by the state, noting that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

“It is unfortunate that some people build houses on drainage channels, gas pipelines and under high tension which is very risky to life and property.

“Any city that is not well planned will suffer for its consequences; hence, existing and intending property owners must ensure to get their planning permits from LASPPPA for proper planning of the state,” he said.

Other dignitaries who spoke at the event included: Mrs Bilkiss Adebiyi-Abiola, General Manager, Lagos State Residents Registration Authority(LASRRA) and Mr Olumide Sotire, Permanent Secretary, MPP&UD, Office of Physical Planning. (NAN)

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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