Fashola to states: Improve on planning/construction permits, urban planning

The Federal Government has called on state governments to improve on the number of days and the length of time it takes to get planning or construction permits.

Stating this in Lagos during the meeting of the National Council of Land, Housing and Urban Development, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said it would help to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country.

“One of the parameters where we need to improve upon, and which has hampered our rating as a country, is the number of days and the length of time it takes to get a construction permit or planning approval; and the cost of it,” he said.

He urged that public office holders must consciously improve on the bureaucracy around granting of construction permits or planning approval by taking steps to reduce the number of people involved, introducing some level of automation, such as online submission of applications and reducing the cost of approval.

“We must see revenue in a broader sense, such as reduced income for planning approval, and increased income from consequential construction like income tax of employees on site, and a broader land use charge from more houses built.”

He also urged state governments to challenge their land managers and town planners to take large tracts of land, plan them for residential and business purposes and set aside land for sports, recreation and entertainment.

“All over the developed world it is easy to observe sports and tourist facilities connected by interstate highways and interstate rail. It is not accidental that thousands of people go by train or buses to a sports or entertainment event and return by it. It is the result of planning,” the minister said

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