Lagos Announces Amnesty for Planning Permits, Drawing Cheers from Building Sector

Property owners in Lagos State can breathe a sigh of relief. The government has implemented a three-month amnesty program allowing them to obtain or regularize planning permits on existing structures without facing penalties. This move has been met with excitement from those in the building industry.

The amnesty window, announced by the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will run from May 2nd to July 30th, 2024. During this period, owners and developers of unregistered buildings can apply for planning permits without incurring statutory fees typically associated with non-compliance. This is seen as a significant concession, considering the economic burden such penalties can impose.

Experts in the building sector have applauded the initiative. They point out that it addresses a major challenge in the industry – a large number of existing structures lack proper permits. This “dead capital,” estimated to be worth a staggering $1 trillion according to PwC, can hinder development and economic growth.

The amnesty program is expected to have a positive ripple effect. By streamlining the process of obtaining permits, the government hopes to encourage property owners to formalize their buildings. This could lead to a more organized urban landscape and potentially pave the way for a more robust mortgage system in Lagos.

While the three-month window offers a welcome opportunity, some industry professionals believe a longer timeframe would be even more beneficial. They suggest a one-year amnesty period could significantly improve resident participation in the program.

Regardless, the Lagos State planning permit amnesty is a positive step towards a more regularized and thriving building sector in the economic powerhouse of Nigeria.


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