Processes Involved in Applying And Getting An Approval For Building Permit In Lagos State

how to approve a building plan in lagos
For clients and contractors, having an approval for your building plan is one of the most important steps that must be taken in order for the construction to be considered as legal. This is because it takes the regulating body in every country to sign and approve a structural plan or blueprint before the commencement of a construction.
On  this post today, is delighted to take you through the processes involved in having your building plan or building blueprints or structural plans approved in any country. Because this blog is run by Nwachukwu Richard, A Nigerian Civil Engineer, this post is going to be created taking Lagos as a case study.
Unlike others, I love to think of a building plan as an idea that starts with the gift of imagination. It has also been proven that even the shortest stroke of the pencil is better than the longest memory. Because imagination is like a visitor, it takes a sharp pencil to capture it in order to prevent it from being lost forever and this is where out building plans sets in.
Building plans are the most tangible imaginative creations that depicts the aesthetics of the actual building even before the execution of the real project.
It tells how beautiful, the schematics and the dimensions of the actual project. Building plans are such tools that without them, understanding the and capturing the reality of the beautiful duplex with a swimming pool and a lovely garden, the 100000m2 of parking space with tons of convenience stores meeting the needs of various individuals.
These are the graphical representation of what the building will be like after the construction has been carried out. Apart from this, it also helps In the process of evaluating the cost of erecting such structures. The building plan also provides a column for the specification of the materials needed for the actual construction.
It helps the quantity surveyor to do a rundown of the total cost of the project.
As a standard, it is required that a building permit be approved by the regulating authorities and this stands in every country including Nigeria.
With this approval, you’ll have the opportunity to construct that dream building without fear of environmental sanctions since these are checked before approval.
Obtaining a building permit also ensures the project complies with the necessary building laws and codes and ethics.
This prevents the illegal construction of structures on unwanted places. You will understand what I mean if you have ever come across a building constructed under a national grid like the “Woodridge Hotel” in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria now “Golden Tulip Hotel constructed opposite the former Woodridge structure.
Having known the meaning of a building plan, building permit and its importance, you have definitely come to understand that it is the very first thing to do if you must commence the construction of your home.
Approving your building plan in Lagos for example requires a visit to the Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority (LASPPDA). This is the body charged with the issuance of building permits in all around Lagos State.
Other states like Delta, Rivers, FCT and Cross River has their own Physical Development authority and constructing in these states requires a visit to the regulating authority.
The LASPPDA is a Government Parastatal under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Ministry of Urban Development.
Now let’s talk about approving your building plan
So How can you successfully obtain a building permit from LASPPDA? Its simple!
You need to ensure the land you wanna build on has a Certificate of Occupancy. It is only on the presentation of this certificate that the Officers from the ministry of Urban Development would access the site.
The type of ownership you have for the land also determines the level you can reach.
I therefore recommend you attach the following documents at the initial point of application for  a building permit in order to have your request granted.
You must register all application for building plans according to the directives of the state policy on Operation 30-30. Operation 30 – 30 stands for speedy processing/approval of building permits.
Now attach the document listed below to begin the registration.
  • Survey plan
  • Title Document
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  • Five (5) sets for: Architectural Drawings, Structural Drawings, Detail drawings/Bill Of Quantity (B.O.Q) and letter of stability from an Engineer Certified by Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).


  •    Tax Clearance and Government Fee: the government fee would set in after your plan must have been accessed by the officials from the ministry of urban Development.
Having paid your government fee, site inspection can now be carried out. It is after site inspection, all documents such as tax clearance certificate, title document, receipt of Tenement rate paid to the Government in respect of ratable properties owned by the applicant in Lagos State or Sworn Affidavit in lieu of that, or better still Land use charge rate. This ensures that you pay a development levy of 100 naira.
Furthermore, a team is sent to the site yet again to ensure that the land is still vacant, after which the Site Inspector writes a report. The Charting officer charts while the Site Engineer also performs his duties.
In the case of 1-2 story buildings, the design is sent to the architect after charting, for clearance.
Architectural design is submitted for inspection to confirm if design is in conformity with the approval standards and order for the area which the land is located.
But, if it the structure is more than a 2-storey building in the design, then a Mechanical and Electrical drawing will be required.
Invariably, the site will also be checked with the immediate environment to see if proposal is in conformity with the existing land use, and if the size of the plot is as presented in the survey plan and design proposal. If the inspection report is satisfactory, the application will then be registered, provided all documents have been submitted.
The processes your building approval application undergoes:
The file is sent to the district officer who transfers it to the vetting officer. The application can then be recommended as long as there are no outstanding.
The District Officer later sends it for concurrent approval.
The file is authorized for registration by the District Officer (D.O) and registered by the clerical officer who assigns the file number and receives all sheets of the drawing submitted.
Provided all relevant documents are submitted, the file is sent to the table of the DO, who sends it to the field officer to include his site sketch and report while another file is opened with all relevant payment receipts and sent to the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service for payment of tax confirmation. If all is well and good, you then declare your tax.
Your file is sent back to the District Officer from the General Manager’s desk for final approval.
A stamp and a seal is put on it.
However in the case of commercial buildings, Institutional applications and some other uses prepared by an Urban and Regional Planner registered by NITP/TOPREC, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required.
When the EIA gets to the Head Quarters, the department of the EIA will clear it.
After the EIA has been certified, it is attached to the file and sent to the General Manager for concurrent approval.
If the application for building plan approval entails a project that goes beyond 2-storey building, then the file will come to the permanent secretary to the government.
When it is beyond 4-storey building, the file is sent to the commissioner.
Also, beyond 6-storey building goes to the governor but in all, it’s the same process except you are doing high rise buildings.
In this case, we will be having 10-20 floors. This requires that you tender a Transport Impact Assessment (TIA) that is handled by the Ministry of Transport.
The recommendation officer’s job is crucial as he/she will go through the entire file to ensure that all requirements in terms of documents and fees have been included in the file.
Finally, the site will be re-visited to confirm that construction has not commenced before recommending to the District Officer for final approval.
All of these can be done for you by your Architect, Surveyor or any other knowledgeable member of your building team. Albeit, we can also process your building plan approval for you in any south western state of Nigeria.
 Please feel free to call for your Structural Drawings, Building Plans as well as Detail Drawings from Norton Concepts Limited

Written by admin

Hi, I'm Richard Nwachukwu! It is my job to handle the content aspect of this great organization and I'm determined to ensure you get it all right as long as you're handling a construction project in Nigeria!

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