Possession of a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for land
ownership will henceforth be a major condition for approval of building plans
Mr Patrick Ferife, Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban
Development, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Asaba.
Ferife said that before now, building plans were
indiscriminately approved by the ministry without regard to a C of O.
According to him, approval of building plans without C of O
is arbitrary, resulting in emergence of slums.
He explained that the new policy would enable government to
identify each building in an area, adding that the development would make
enforcement of conformity with building plans possible.
Ferife also said that as part of the land reform system,
government had urged communities which had land to allow the ministry to help
them in the lay-out.
“Helping the communities to lay out the plots on their land
does not mean that the land is being acquired. It is to help to control the
approval of buildings as well as the layout in the communities”, he stated.
He said that government had observed that families with
landed property in their communities were selling the plots haphazardly without
providing for open roads, lanes and green areas.
He, however, said that the laying out of plots in the
communities would be provided free of charge, while the land reform programme
would change landscape.
He said that officials of the ministry would soon embark on
a sensitisation visit to traditional rulers and community leaders across the
state on the land reform programme.