By Isaac Abimbade
The Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) is one of the agencies that give approval for building in Lagos. They are always on their toes to ensure builders, developers and operators in the built sector comply with the rules and regulations of the body. A few weeks back, some of their officials released 27 things you must have to get your building approval permit within 10 working days.
FIRST: WHAT IS THE ROLE OF LASPPPA IN OBTAINING BUILDING PERMIT?
While the other relevant agencies are saddled with the responsibility of issuing and vetting the necessary documents that will be required for obtaining a Building Permit, the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) is the agency, under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, saddled with the task of processing and issuing preconstruction approval and permit in Lagos State. LASPPPA is empowered under the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations, 2019 to issue planning permits.
business of building construction, development of properties will be regulated by this regulation. Thus, it is our considered view that real estate companies come under the scope of businesses that require this license.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING BUILDING PERMIT IN LAGOS STATE?
Under this head, we shall itemize requirements for processing building permit in Lagos State: 5 original copies of architectural drawing duly stamped and sealed with a stamp endorsed by the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON)
5 original copies of structural drawings duly signed, sealed and dated together with a letter of supervision from an engineer registered with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), confirming that the building is constructed according to good standards and under the supervision of the engineer who will be responsible for any failures or defects on the project
Calculation sheet for the materials to be used for the project, duly signed by the COREN registered engineer
Evidence of payment of assessment fees due on the application
5 Original copies of the mechanical and electrical drawings (if applicable)
Certified true copy of title documents (i.e. certificate of occupancy, registered conveyance, governor’s consent or letter of allocation)
Confirmation/Clearance letter from the Lands Bureau if title documents are being processed by the Lands Bureau (if applicable)
Clearance letter from the Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC) (if applicable)
Fire safety clearance letter from Lagos State Fire Service (if applicable)
Metroline corridor clearance letter from Lagos State Ministry of Transport (if applicable)
Traffic impact assessment report from the Lagos State Ministry of Transport (if applicable)
Drainage clearance letter from the Office of Drainage Services, Lagos State Ministry of Environment (if applicable)
Copy of a confirmation letter from New Towns Development Authority (if applicable)
Soil test report (if applicable)
Environmental impact assessment report from the Office of Environmental Services, Lagos State Ministry of Environment (if applicable)
Letter of structural stability/integrity report duly signed by a COREN registered engineer (in case of a construction/renovation of an existing building)
Physical Planning Technical Report from the Physical Development Intervention Department of LASPPPA (if applicable).
Clearance letter from the Nigerian Air and Civil Aviation (if applicable)
Clearance letter from LASURA (if applicable)
An original sun-print survey plan
Tenement rate or land use charge receipt, or sworn affidavit as to payment in lieu of receipts
2 passport photographs of the applicant(s)
Copy of current tax clearance certificate or evidence of updated personal income tax payment of the applicant(s) or tax clearance certificate of 2 directors if applicant is a company
Evidence of Pay As You Earn (P.A.Y.E) returns (where applicant is a company)
Copy of certificate of incorporation (where the applicant is a company)
Development levy receipt, Site photograph satisfactory.
The Building Permit will be granted with an approval of two (2) years of validity period within which the developer (i.e. applicant) must commence the operation.
Please note that once the approval is granted, the law enforcement expects that the work must have begun on the site, otherwise the permit will lose its validity.
What is the lifespan of a building permit?
Building Permit will expire if the work it covers does not begin within six (6) months or the building is not completed within one (1) year of the date it is issued, renewable or can be extended, but it is usually advisable to get a building permit issued as close as possible to the time when the work begins.
I HAVE A REGISTERED TITLE DOCUMENT(S) ON MY PROPERTY, DO I STILL NEED A PERMIT TO BUILD ON IT?
Yes. A building permit is completely different from a land title. So, even though one may have a valid land title, he or she is still required to obtain building permit before developing a property.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR A BUILDING PERMIT?
Application for building permit can be done by the property owner or the developer. However, it is safer to use the service of a legal practitioner. As a firm with recorded success in obtaining permits of this kind, we are well aware of how to avoid unnecessary and complicated administrative procedures which constitute bottlenecks without breaching any aspect of the law.
ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BUILDING PERMIT THE SAME FOR A SIMPLE RENOVATION?
Where the applicant is only seeking to make secondary improvements or extension to the building such as, to create a small compartment or boys quarters, then some of the required documents listed above would not be required.
In any case, the architectural and structural drawings as well as a letter of supervision from the registered site engineer which doubles as a letter of indemnity from the engineer, title document, survey plan, tax clearance remain mandatory requirements in most instances. These documents must be provided, duly vetted, and approved before the permit is granted.
WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH OBTAINING BUILDING PERMIT IN NIGERIA?
In our experience, some of the likely problems to be faced when applying for building permit are as follows;
RED TAPISM: This could be as a result of excessively complicated administrative procedure that has made the process of obtaining licences and permits cumbersome.
ENGAGING INEXPERIENCED INTERMEDIARIES: The process for obtaining licences and permits could even be made longer by engaging inexperienced hands to carry out the process.
SUMMARY OF PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING BUILDING PERMIT
Get Architectural drawings, Get a survey plan, Get structural drawings with detailing (Calculations and letter of structural stability from COREN certified engineer, Get title document, tax clearance and Government fee, Submission of documents to district office and payment, Confirmation of receipt at accurate department of the district office, Site inspection from the ministry of physical planning and urban development.
Ensure you have all the necessary documents especially tax and structural drawings papers to avoid unnecessary delay in the approval process.
Ensure that your tax papers are up-to-date as tax verification will be done at Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS)
After the approval of building plan, a copy of the approved building plan must be kept on-site for inspection at all times during the period of construction. Source: