The ongoing nation’s economic recession is currently having a negative impact on Lagos State’s Lands Bureau by slowing down land transactions in the state by 30%.
Last year, the state authorities slashed various rates applicable to land transactions from 13% down to 3%. For example, consent fees were reduced from 6% to 1.5% while capital gains tax, previously 2% ,was reduced to 0.5 %.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau, Bode Agoro, told media personnel that despite the cut in rates, there has been a decline in Governor’s consent, which used to be the highest revenue generating arm of the bureau.
He expressed that people are not transacting as much anymore as a result of the ongoing recession in the country and this has led to a considerable low rate in revenue. He stressed that the Bureau has embarked on series of changes to speed up the process of getting Governor’s consent in order to attract more people and arrest the decline.
The Permanent Secretary also said the Bureau had strengthened the land registry by creating a quality control unit to block all noticeable leakages of the past.
“It is better to encounter a little bit of delay so as not to register a fake Certificate of Occupancy (CofOs).” He said. Other moves introduced by the Bureau to make it more responsive to the public, was to embark on a zero tolerance for staff inducement and re-orientation of workers on how to communicate with customers, he further disclosed.
He also stressed that the Bureau has secured approval from the Governor for an integrated land administrative system which will make members of the public submit their applications online from the comfort of their homes to be processed by the Bureau. Under this system, lands would be made a secondary market for mortgages so that the Bureau will be in a position to guarantee titles issued. The bureau is committed to the project by creating an enabling environment where the land registry would be secured enough to vet and scrutinize all applications. The system, he said, will kick-off at the end of the year as the contract for was just awarded.
According to him, the process will involve the scanning of all the documents and when that is completed, insurance companies will pay buyers the cost of that transactions just as it is done in the market of shares. On the issue of land allocations, he said, the Government is presently processing backlogs of allocations done by the past government as over 5, 000 C of Os have been issued by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
He said that the Bureau has adopted an electronic system to take care of double allocations as well as shortening by the process to get optimum productivity.
Source; The Guardian