The Director General of the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA), Malam Ismail Umaru Dikko, has said the land reform component of the urban renewal programme was aimed at attracting investment in the property market in the state.
He said the state, through Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KAGIS) now produces a digital Certificate of Occupancy (Cof O), while KASUPDA has eased the process of applying and getting building permits.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Trust in Kaduna, the DG said the authority processes building permits within 21 days.
“Basically, the land reform introduced encourages people to come in and develop lands that are set aside for use and abandoned uncompleted structures that have been in existence for over 40 years. We are taking it into consideration and trying to encourage the landlords to ensure that those lands are being put to use. We have given them deadlines and we don’t want to hear that they don’t have money to develop them. If any landlord does not have money, they can partner with those that have money,” he said.
He added that as a key component of the urban renewal, which is aimed at encouraging investors, especially in the real estate sector, already land is attracting many investors from across the country to Kaduna.
He further said: “On Buhari Way, Isa Kaita Way and Aliyu Makama Way, initially, most buildings there were residential but now that the roads have been dualised and they are now expressways, they are no longer ideal for residential, so what we have introduced is a commercial corridor. If you have a C of O that is residential, it can be automatically converted to commercial. It all depends on the commercial activity you intend to do there, you put in your application and send it to the one-stop-shop we have introduced, where you have an architect, an electrical engineer, a structural engineer, a town planner and whoever that has a stake in the building approval process.
“And the process will be completed in less than a week. The charges that you are expected to pay will be conveyed to you online while the processing department ensures that the permit is ready for signing and then we send you an email or a text message that your building permit is ready for pick up subject to payment of a processing fee.”
He said despite the land reforms, the charges have remained the same.
He, however, said penalties have been put in place to deter people from building without securing the necessary building approval.
“Getting approval then was cumbersome but the process has been improved upon and it is easier now.
“It is not all about granting the approval, the building can collapse and we are going to be held responsible. It has happened in Lagos, so we have to do due diligence and ensure the applicants provide all the required documents,” he added.