Not many people are aware that Building projects require an approved Building plan, whether it’s for a residential or commercial piece of Real Estate.

Many people also have a faint idea of Building permits and Building control regulations but have no idea of how they are procured, the requirements for procuring them, and the applicable Regulatory Framework governing the grant of Building permits or approvals.

Building permits are essentially Regulatory approvals given by a government through its relevant agencies that enable the commencement and completion of a construction, renovation or remodelling project on a piece of landed property.

Following from this, what this write-up aims to do is to provide some insight into:

– The Regulatory Framework governing the grant of Building permits;

– The Procedure involved in applying for a Building permit;

– The requirements for applying for a Building permit;

– The time and cost implications of obtaining a Building permit.

It should be noted that Building control regulations within Nigeria are within the control of State and Local Governments and they vary from state to state as well, so this article will be focused on the process of applying for a Building permit in Lagos state.

What is the Regulatory Framework governing the grant of Building permits in Lagos State?

The grant of Building permits in Lagos State is governed specifically by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations 2019 and is enforced by a number of Regulatory agencies that include the following:-

– The Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA) under the Ministry of Physical Planning &Urban Development;

– The Lagos State Lands Bureau;

– The Ministry of Environment.

For how long do building plan permits remain valid after being granted?

Building permits have a total validity period of 2 years within which a Building plan applicant must commence construction.

How long does it take to process an application for a Building permit?

Building permit applications usually take a minimum of 60 days.

What are the most important requirements for making a valid application for a Building permit in Lagos?

To make an application for a Building permit in Lagos State, you must have the following requirements included among others:-

– A photograph of the building/construction site;

– 2 passport photographs of the applicant/ a copy of its Certificate of Incorporation where the applicant is a company;

– A Certified True Copy of the Title Document proving ownership of the land on which the construction project is to take place. This Title Document has to be either an Allocation Letter, a Certificate of Occupancy, or a Registered Conveyance where applicable OR a clearance letter from the Lands Bureau where the Title Document is still being processed;

– Where applicable, a clearance letter from the Land Use Allocation Committee;

– An Survey plan(Sun-print copy)of the land to be built on;

– A copy of the applicant’s Tax clearance certificate or evidence of Personal Income Tax payment or where the applicant is a company, 2 directors will have to provide their Tax clearance certificates;

– Evidence of payment by the applicant of application assessment fees ;

– Evidence of payment of Tenement rates, Land Use charges or Ground rent;

– A soil test report where applicable;

– A Fire safety clearance from the Lagos State Fire Service;

– Where applicable, a confirmation letter from the New Town Development Authority;

– A signed letter of structural stability/integrity report by a COREN-accredited professional (especially where the project is a building renovation);

– 5 copies each of a). An Architectural plan duly stamped by a member of the Architects Regulation Council of Nigeria (ARCON); b). Structural drawings duly signed along with a supervision letter from a COREN(Council for the Regulation Of Engineering In Nigeria) accredited engineer affirming good construction standards;

– A COREN-accredited professional stamped calculation sheet for the materials to be used for the construction project;

– An Environmental Impact Assessment report from the Ministry of Environment where applicable.

Are there other fees or cost implications i should know of when applying for a Building permit?

Yes there are. You would most likely be required to pay for the following:-

– A Building plan approval application fee;

– A layout fee;

– A Fencing permit;

– A certificate of fitness levy;

– A Registration fee.

Will the requirements mentioned above still be needed if the building project is a simple renovation such as a Boy’s Quarters?

No, not all of them will be required except for mainly the Survey plan, Architectural plan, the structural drawings, a supervision letter/indemnity letter from a COREN-accredited engineer as well as the applicant’s Tax clearance certificate which must still be submitted before receiving a Building permit for a renovation.

In summary, what are the main steps i need to take in order to commence an application for a Building permit/approval?

To start a Building plan permit application(to be submitted in soft and hard copies), you need to do the following :-

– Get your lawyer to procure your Land Title Documents or to commence your Title registration application immediately as well as your Tax clearance certificate and payments receipts of all required Regulatory fees;

– Get architectural drawings from an ARCON-accredited architect;

– Get from a COREN-accredited engineer, structural drawings with detailed calculations along with a statement of structural stability;

– Instruct your lawyer to submit all these documents and required fee receipts and have the latter confirmed by the appropriate department of LASPPA;

– Wait for a physical inspection of your construction site by officials of the Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development.

It should be noted that every approved Building plan must be kept on the Construction site for inspection at any time through the course of the construction/building project. Also, seeking a Building permit approval for specific types of structures like Filling stations would also require Pre-licensing inspections and approvals from other government agencies like the NMDPRA(Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority)

From the above, it can be seen that though the process of getting a Building permit seems tedious (and it sometimes is), you can avoid a lifetime of liabilities, including jail time for negligence-based manslaughter arising out of deaths from collapsed buildings, when you have the right professional guidance to help you with this extremely important aspect of Real Estate & Construction Regulatory Compliance. Consultation enquiries on this subject matter, including the procedure for Building permit applications in other states apart from Lagos, can be sent to or 07011261897.