In an attempt to prevent the delivery of low-quality buildings within the city, the Lagos State Government has made a few changes to restructure its building permit and approval process. These changes, introduced in the past month, are in response to the high rate of building failures and collapses particularly over the past year that threaten the lives and property of the state’s residents. They include:
1. Retroactive Increase of the cost of building permits
Earlier in July, news broke of the Lagos State Government’s increase of the cost of building permit process. The increase, which is retroactive in nature, will apply to permit applications submitted up to five years ago onwards. As such, older applicants will have to pay the deficit in order to undertake the permit process.
The increase in assessment cost is not uniform across the board and depends on the type of permit with some registering up to a 100% increase.
Prior to the increase, the cost of permits was as follows:
Source: Estate Intel
2. Introduction of the Certified Accreditor Programme and Certificate of Structural Integrity Programme
Subsequently, the State Government’s Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development shared plans to implement initiatives to fast-track building approval, curb collapses, and enhance service delivery in the construction sector.
The government announced its new building approval and a regulatory process called the Certified Accreditor Programme and Certificate of Structural Integrity Programme. A scheme designed to encourage private sector involvement in the building approvals process.
This scheme will be executed in conjunction with a certified accreditor/consulting firm or a consortium of registered consultants to carry out the screening of technical drawings, stage certification and random monitoring of projects. Such professionals include:
- Town planners
- Civil and structural engineers
- Mechanical engineers
- Registered geoscientists
These consulting firms/consortiums will be accredited in different grades ranging from grade 1 to 4 depending on their years of experience.
- Grade 1: Professionals must have at least 15 years of practical experience and one team member must have experience in the area of specialisation to be deployed
- Grade 2: Professionals must have at least 15 years of experience and are eligible to work on buildings of any number of floors.
- Grade 3: Professionals must have at least 10 years of experience and are eligible to work on buildings of up to 10 floors.
- Grade 4: Professionals must have at least 5 years of experience and are eligible to work buildings of up to 5 floors.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluwole Sotire emphasised the importance of collaboration with the private sector on the building approvals scheme in order to be successful. He said the government embraced the participatory approach after its engagement with professionals in the built environment.
The effectiveness of these changes will determine the success of the schemes.
While changes to the building approval process are long overdue, the true success of the schemes will be reliant on its effectiveness in ensuring only quality buildings are delivered within the state. This way, the state can stymie building collapses and protect the lives and properties of its residents.
Chart Showing States With The Most Collapses in 2022
Source: Building Collapse Prevention Guild
In 2022, Lagos State registered the highest number of building collapses in Nigeria, with 20 collapses, some of which were fatal according to the Building Collapse Prevention Guild. Compared to other states, Lagos led the way by some distance while Kano emerged with the second highest number (7) of collapses. It is the expectation that this number will reduce drastically once these schemes take effect.
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Source: Estate Intel