The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday said a total of 4,602 Certificates of Occupancy (CofO), as well as 6,118 Governor’s Consent and 314 Deemed Grant Consent totaling 11, 034 land titles have been signed and issued in the state in the last two years.
Mr. Ambode, who disclosed this while commissioning the upgraded and redesigned Land Registry of the State, said his administration had put in place deliberate reforms to reposition land administration for efficiency and enhance the ease of doing business.
He said when his administration came on board, one of the major challenges that hampered the ease of doing business was the bottleneck in land administration. He said immediate steps were taken to reform the sector, especially through the deployment of technology to drive efficiency in the Land Registry, Administration and Management System.
While describing the new Land Registry as another major step towards the ideal situation in land administration and management, Mr. Ambode said the essence of the reforms was to unleash private enterprise as land is a vital asset with which people could access capital and thereby increase economic activities, adding that the initiative was also aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the state.
“This new registry is equipped with a Thomson Reuters suite of technology modules designed to conduct rapid inventory of actual/existing land rights, automate and manage land records and ensure integration of geographic data/Survey,” the governor said.
“This solution also comes with online consummation of all levels of services rendered by the Lands Bureau.
“With this new registry, we will streamline the process of registering title and remove the bottlenecks previously associated with the process. The redesigned layout of the registry makes it more service friendly to all who have land transactions to process.
“In addition to the new registry, we have introduced the concept of the ‘Land Administration Campus’ by bringing all agencies and Ministries involved in Land Administration to one location to further ease the process of land registration and titling.
“With this, the Office of the State Surveyor General will move to this quadrangle and occupy the office of the Ministry of Environment.”
The idea, according to Mr. Ambode, was to create a One –Stop-Shop where the Office of the State Surveyor General, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and the Lands Bureau are located within the same complex, to fast-track processing of land titles.
The governor expressed optimism that with the new arrangement coupled with the deployment of the new Integrated Land Administration and Automation System and the Geographical Information System, the State Government would achieve a combined effect of making the process of securing land title seamless, and also engender the highest level of security and integrity of title document.
While pledging to continue to fine-tune the processes of land administration to meet changing times and yield positive dividends for the people, Mr. Ambode said his administration was determined to stamp out land grabbing from the state.
“I want to use this opportunity to restate the commitment of our administration to stamp out land grabbing,” he said.
“We will arrest and prosecute any identified land grabber. We assure all our investors of the safety of their property and urge you to take advantage of our Task Force on Land Grabbing if you encounter any challenges.
“Our government is deliberate and strategic; our policy thrust is built on a tripod of security, infrastructure and job creation. We are working constantly to provide security for our residents and investors.
“We have invested massively on infrastructure especially road infrastructure to open up new areas, increase the value of land and give our people access to their property.
“With the land administration reforms, entrepreneurs and individuals will now be able to register their titles faster and have access to capital. This will in turn create opportunities for jobs and also wealth creation.”
Earlier, in her opening remarks, Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Yetunde Onabule, said the new land Registry was a significant milestone towards revolutionizing land administration in the state, and commended Mr. Ambode for his vision and passion for optimal efficiency of the sector.