NITP to Ondo govt: Reconsider Policy On Filing Of C of O Before building Plan Approval
Professional town planners in Ondo State have appealed to the state government to reconsider its position on the proposed implementation of the submission of a Certificate of Occupancy as a pre-condition for building plan approval.
According to them, the policy will lead to a drop in the submission of plans by the people of Ondo State.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners in the state, Mrs Ologun Mariam, who made the appeal during a courtesy visit to the state commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Alhaji Amidu Takuro, said the directive of the state government to enforce C of O as a pre-requisite for approving building plans calls for caution and review in the best interest of the environment and people of the state.
According to Ologun, if the policy is adopted, the ministry would not only record low application, but its contribution to the state’s internally generated revenue would drop drastically.
She said: “The procedure for collection of Certificate of Occupancy, even under the Home Charter Amnesty (HOCOS) program, will take at least a minimum of 60 days for a C of O to be delivered, all things being equal.
“It, therefore, implies that all applications will be delayed for a minimum of 60 days before going through the town planning procedures, which take another 30 days at minimum. This will be a big setback to the policy of Ondo State Government on the ease of doing business in the state.”
“The submission of C of O as a pre-condition for plan approval, which includes: approval for residential housing, commercial housing and industrial structures, will lead to a drop in the submission of plans by people of Ondo State.
“This policy will reduce the submission of applications by less than 10 per cent of the current rate, owing to the introduction of tax clearance by the ministry and coupled with the increase in the government fees order dated March 1, 2022, drastically reducing building plan submission in the state,” he said.
The NITP chairman explained that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has been struggling to monitor and control developments in Ondo State.
According to her, the limited personnel, poor monitoring tools, and low capacity of the enforcement department would continually prompt many prospective developers to violate regulations on the submission of plans for approval.
“In the short and long run, this situation will promote haphazard and chaotic physical development that will lead to slum formation, which is inimical to economic development and human health.
“As partners in progress, we wish to suggest the need for an elaborate awareness drive with a view to ensuring a reduction in the number of people currently developing without building plan approval in the state,” she said.