December 5, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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SDGs: Institute wants Lagos Govt. reduce building certification levies

Members of the Nigerian Institute of Building Local Organising Committee during a briefing to announce 30th Lagos Builders’ Conference, on Thursday in Lagos

Members of the Nigerian Institute of Building Local Organising Committee during a briefing to announce 30th Lagos Builders’ Conference, on Thursday in Lagos

“The eyes of government should not be only at where it is getting more funds but also on remembering the SDG.
By Grace Alegba
The Lagos Chapter of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has called for reduction of building certification levies in Lagos State in order to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11.
The Chairman of  the chapter, Mr Sunday Wusu, made the call on Thursday at a news conference to announce the 30th Lagos Builders’ Conference scheduled to hold on Oct. 27 and  Oct. 28,  in Ikeja.
The conference has the theme: “Building Control Regulations and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Lagos State Reinvigorating Processes, Optimising Results”.
Wusu noted that SDG 11, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, projected that by 2030 all countries should have achieved the yardstick of sustainable cities and communities.
He said that Lagos was far from meeting the target, urging that the state government should shift focus from levies to massive slums infrastructure upgrade to actualise  the goal aimed at making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
The chairman said that the recent re-launch of Certificate of Completion and Fitness for Habitation to enforce the state’s planning laws though laudable, was like putting the cart before the horse.
He said that the stage of certification that should be achieved before issuance of the Certificate of Completion and Fitness for Habitation  was more important because “buildings cannot collapse on paper”.
He said that procedures should be streamlined and government should ensure affordability of levies for more people to be able to build homes.
“The eyes of government should not be only at where it is getting more funds but also on remembering the SDG.
“The UN is mainly after  accessibility for people not only in the city but in the hinterlands, also.
“The government should ensure the hinterland is accessible to the city. The reason we are still having traffic congestion in Lagos is because everything tends toward Lagos Island.
“Even if government is  increasing the building certification fee in the high brow areas, it needs to ensure that fees in the hinterlands are reduced drastically such that people can access it,” he said.
Wusu said the government was too careful trying to satisfy residents of the state by attaching levies to all building certification procedures and not focusing on building new towns to take pressure off city centres.
“Recently, the cost of all these services has been increased.
“If we are to go with the SDG, those fees are not supposed to be increased,” he said.
He decried high cost of construction materials and exorbitant rent in the state.
He noted that 14 out of the SDGs were dedicated to the building industry to underscore the importance of shelter to humanity.
He urged the government to ensure that all the divisions of the state would become industrial hubs to attract development to the hinterlands to take pressure off cities and reduce gridlock and overcrowding.
Wusu said the government should site building materials cottage industries in the hinterlands to reduce incidences of building collapse caused by developers trying to cut corners to save cost.
Earlier, Mr Lucky Isaname, Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC)  of the conference, said that the 30th Lagos Builders’ Conference would attract professionals in building as well as other stakeholders.
 Isaname said that NIOB would brainstorm with stakeholders including the state  Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, on strategies to avert duplication of roles by government agencies.
He said the conference would also try to proffer solutions and promote compliance with the Lagos State Physical Development Planning Law, 2019, to forestall building collapse.
Other members of the LOC  also talked on measures to meet up with the SDG 11 before 2030. (NAN)