A former Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr Ayo Adejumo, has identified poor funding as an obstacle to effective operation of the building industry by regulatory agencies.
Adejumo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority and other appropriate bodies responsible for processing building plan approvals sometimes failed to discharge their duties effectively due lack of fund.
The former NITP vice-chairman noted that the regulatory agencies sometimes failed to perform some inspections and documentation that were supposed to be carried out before and after a building plan approval was granted.
Adejumo said that the specifications of a building plan document were not always obeyed by developers due to lack of proper supervision by the responsible authorities that granted it.
According to him, the building laws and codes state that a building boundary must not be less than six meters away from the road and three meters away from the surrounding fence.
“The developer will observe the laws in the building architectural designs, applications and other documents submitted, and the approval plan will be granted to him or her.
“But on getting to the site, the developer will deviate from what he puts down on paper to build below the metres and rules which the law stipulate.
“This is why there is little or no parking space in almost all the compounds in Lagos.
“As a result, cars are parked along both sides of the roads and in the streets, contributing to traffic jams in Lagos metropolis,” he said.
Adejumo noted that the regulatory body or the town planners were supposed to inspect the site before and after the building plan was approved to ensure that the constructions were in conformity with the proposal and approved building plan.
“But the appropriate authorities most times fail to visit the site before approving the building plan, or even follow-up on the project after granting its approval.
“Most times, this is due to non-availability of official cars to convey them to the site, and also lack of other facilities that can make their job easier.
“Corruption is another factor that weakens the system, because some of the regulatory officials collect gratifications from the developers not to report accurately what they observed from the site,” Adejumo said.
The former NITP chief said there was need for proper development control in the state, suggesting that appropriate authorities and the town planners should be present at the site of any approved building project, right from its foundation.
He said the idea was to ensure that the designs and construction conforms with the approved plan and the area where the land was located.
Adejumo, therefore, urged the state government to continually empower the authorities handling building plan approval processes to enable them to discharge their duties efficiently.