Ease of doing business: Lagos Land Bureau reviews processes
The general concession has been that business transactions in Nigeria is filled with all forms of hindrances, whereby foreign or local investors face many hurdles to cross.
The same problems are equally affecting public offices, thereby making normal transactions a hellish experience.
But in its traditional fashion of bringing the best out of difficult situations, Lagos Lands Bureau, in its quest to ensure ease of doing business in the state, has commenced the review of its systems and policies that will entrench a ‘One-Stop Shop’ to facilitate unhindered and secured access to all factors of production that include land, capital , labour and entrepreneurship, but chief of which is land.
The Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule, who spoke at a stakeholders’ engagement on “Ease of Doing Business in Lagos State”, at the Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos, last week, stated that it will no longer be ‘business as usual’, as the Bureau is out to facilitate the international best practices in its activities, as far as land administration is concerned.
In a statement signed by the Bureau’s Chief Information Officer, Mr. Kayode Sutton, the Special Adviser noted that Nigeria is currently ranked low on the World Bank’s ease of doing business Index, which is attributed to poor service delivery and too many bureaucratic bottlenecks.
To address this fundamental issues, Mrs. Onabule noted that there is utmost need for Lagos State, being the ‘Centre of Excellence’ and the Nigeria’s commercial nerve center, to automate its entire land administration process and create a system where land titles will be secured , guaranteed and easy to obtain.
She disclosed that the Bureau had initiated plans to facilitate ease of doing business by first, collapsing into four, the work flow interface with customers in all its directorates.
“There are occasions where applicants submit applications, collect demand notice for payment, submit revenue receipt; and the need to come back to collect registered title documents, the processes which we believe we can improve upon and be better addressed”, she said, adding that while the upgrading and restructuring of the land registry is ongoing, the Bureau remains committed to reviewing its business processes.
“We have redesigned the layout of the Land Registry to ensure flow of processes and transactions which will lead to a reduction in the turn-around-time (TAT).
“This process is culminated in the reduction of the number of units within the Land Registry from eleven to three, while requirements for a sworn affidavit prior to conducting Tittle Search at the Registry has also been cancelled to make the process faster and less cumbersome,” she said.
The Land Bureau Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bode Agoro, who spoke earlier at the occasion, observed that registering of property , amongst others , is one of the priority areas for business reforms, and Lagos State, is key determinant for improving Nigeria’s rating on the World Bank’s ease of doing business Index.
“As a responsive government, we understand and appreciate that the reforms will have impacts that would ease the registration of property.
“Besides, the reforms will invariably improve Nigeria’s rating on the World Bank’s ease of doing business Index, which is our ultimate goal,” Agoro assured, noting that on completion, the initiative will revolutionalise land administration, not only in Lagos State, but also in Nigeria, with the possibility of propelling the nation’s place on the ease of doing business by up to 50th on the index table.