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Electronic building plan process still cumbersome — Town Planners

Mr Olaide Afolabi, President of the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), on Friday called for an improvement on the electronic method of processing building plan approvals in Lagos State.

Afolabi said in Lagos that the electronic approach has yet make an appreciable impact on the process.

He said that the electronic pattern was supposed to make the process less cumbersome and faster, but building plan approvals seemed to be more rigorous when processed electronically in the state.

“Normally, it is not supposed to exceed three working days for an applicant to obtain building plan approvals, especially when it is being processed online.

“But the process still consumes the same quantity of money and time. Sometimes, the manual method even seems to be preferable,’’ he said.

Afolabi called on the relevant authorities to do the needful by taking the necessary steps to make the process efficient and reliable.

The association president said there was also a need for more public awareness on the electronic method, to encourage people to embrace the approach.

Afolabi suggested a review of the requirements for obtaining the building plan approvals, saying that documents like Certificate of Ownership(C of O) could be excluded.

According to him, it is usually stated explicitly on the certificate that the approved building plan document does not guarantee ownership of the land.

“This implies that the title document has no input in the building plan approval process.

“Exclusion of the C of O from the requirements will help to fasten the process, considering the delays encountered in the process of getting the C of O,” he said.