Government Will Remove Hindrances to Smooth Property Transactions, Says PEBEC

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Bennett Oghifo

The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has stated that bureaucratic processes that make property transactions cumbersome were being removed for the economic development of the nation.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment in the Office of the Vice President, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole stated this while discussing the property component of the ease of doing business in Nigeria, along with other areas the government professes to have succeeded in using to open up the nation’s business environment.

Oduwole, who was represented by a senior official, Mr. Soji Akinyele, presented the government’s success story at this year’s World Prix D’excellence Awards of the Nigerian branch of International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) in Lagos, recently.

Oduwole, who presented the ‘2016-2018 Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Reforms Reference Handbook on Ease of Doing Business -Completed Reforms’, said, for registering of property in Lagos, “Nigerians can now receive demand notices via email, and pay online for charting fee, endorsement fee, stamp duty, registration fees, consent fees and neighbourhood improvement charges; Obtain certified true copy (CTC) of title documents and survey plans at the Land Registry’s automated centre.”

Also in Kano, she said people would enjoy an automated process for registration of properties, including rapid capture at the Land Registry. They would “Enjoy expedited issuance of Governor’s Consent through delegation of issuance authority to the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice; conduct property searches and view estimated costs on a cadastral map via the Land Registry.” They would access clear information on acquisition and transfer of property via the Kano Bureau for Land Management website; access the linked Land Registry website and Inland Revenue Portal to make required payments online; simultaneously; and enjoy harmonised title and boundary verification in the Land Registry due to full digitisation, she said.

The PEBEC Reforms Reference Handbook on Ease of Doing Business says, “Over the past three years, Nigeria has implemented more than 140 reforms, increased its Distance-to-Frontier (DTF) score by over 11 basis points, and moved up 24 places in the World Bank Doing Business Index (DBI) rankings.

“In the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum (WEF) recognised Nigeria’s business environment as one of the most entrepreneurial in the world and highlighted Nigeria’s improved competitiveness in the Enabling Business Environment.

She listed other benefits of the reforms delivered as; dealing with construction permits in Lagos, saying that “Nigerians can now: enjoy an improved planning permit application process via an e-planning platform for Lagos State; access accurate information on all fees, procedures, requirements and laws on the Lagos State Physical Planning and Permit Authority (LASPPPA) website; access statistical information on land disputes; enjoy reduced costs for permits due to the elimination

of requirements for infrastructure development charge (IDC) for two-floor warehouses; soil test and environmental impact assessment (EIA); certified true copy (CTC) of title document and survey plan; and expect water connection within three days of your payment to the Lagos State Water Board.”

The document says when dealing with construction permits in Kano, “Nigerians can now: submit an application and make e-payments for building plans simultaneously at the Kano Urban

Planning and Development Authority (KNUPDA); expect to receive building plans within 14 days; Expect water connection in seven days of your payment to the Kano State Water Board; request the issuance of a Certificate of Habitation without physical inspection; appoint private professional firms to carry out inspections before, during and after construction.”

According to her, PEBEC will continue to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks in Nigeria’s business environment through extensive collaboration with the National Assembly on the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, which was passed at the Senate in May 2018 and is currently awaiting its Second Reading at the House.

In his welcome address, President FIABCI-Nigeria, Mr. Adeniji Adele said FIABCI-Nigeria has resolved to include in their World Prix D’excellence Awards a session for the presentation of the nation’s annual real estate scorecard.

FIABCI is the French acronym for “Federation Internationale des Administrateurs de Bien-Conselis Immobiliers”, which means “The International Real Estate Federation”. In its 61 years of existence, 47 years in Nigeria, FIABCI has built an enviable reputation. It represents the world’s real estate professions through its Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations Organisation.

FIABCI’s role in the United Nations is to make recommendations and provide advice on matters such as property rights, housing for the poor and money laundering.

With chapters currently operating in more than 60 countries, including Nigeria, FIABCI represents every discipline in the industry and links thousands of real estate professionals worldwide.

Members of FIABCI, in all the countries they exist, organise World Prix D’excellence Awards annually during which the unique award is given to the real estate projects that embody excellence in all disciplines involved in their creation.