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Lagos commences registration, perfection of title documents

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Yinka Kolawole
The Lagos State government has initiated moves to enable house owners, who are without valid title documents in government housing estates across the state, to register and/or perfect their documents.

To this end, the state government recently held a “Stakeholders’ Meeting on Registration/Perfection of Grant of Sub-Leases by State Government Housing Estate,” to sensitize people about the new initiative.

Stakeholders present at the meeting included owners of houses in the government housing estates built by the State Ministry of Housing, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) and Lagos Building Investment Company Limited (LBIC).

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Land Bureau, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa, at the forum, enjoined stakeholders who bought houses in the government housing estates before 2000 to take full advantage of the opportunity as, according to him, the government plans to grant concessions to those who come forward to either register and/or perfect their title documents.

“If you fail to obtain the title to the property you bought from the state government, you limit the opportunities and benefits available to you as a property owner. Also by registering the title to your property, you can get a mortgage from a bank to buy another property; you can also get a security of title. By registering the title to your property, you are guarding against the fraudulent practices of criminals coupled with the fact that you will be able to ensure seamless transfer of your property to third parties as you desire,” he said.

Ashafa emphasised that the aim of the state government is to harmonize the processes of perfection of sub-lease title documents issued to allottees of housing units in all government housing estates in the state, as well as encourage allottees to obtain title deeds to their properties and register such with the Land Registry.

He said that the concession period was envisaged to last for three months, adding that in a bid to minimize cost that would have been incurred by the allottees through the process, government decided to considerably reduce charges for registration and perfection of their title documents. “The government would be conceding a lot of revenue, which should be due to it in a normal title perfection procedure during this period,” he stated.

“Presently an applicant intending to process consent to subsequently transaction in Lagos State would have to pay the following charges: 8 per cent as consent fee, 2 per cent as  capital gains tax, 2 per cent of the assessed value of the land as stamp duties fee and 3 per cent as registration fee. These fees and charges, which may run into several thousands of naira, the government is intending to reduce considerably by reason of this project, for the benefit of those who bought their houses several years before the year 2000. An applicant in this government initiative will only need to pay a lump sum which is a considerably reduced amount fixed by government.”

It was also revealed that financial incentives to encourage people to obtain their title document would be released by Governor Babatunde Fashola at the April stakeholders’ meeting.

Managing Director, Lagos Building Investment Company (LIBC), Mr. Tunde Jinadu, said 17,000 allottees of the low cost housing estates in Lagos were affected by the directive.

He noted that a number of the houses were more than 25 years old and that transactions had taken place over some of them. He added that the process of re-certification of the properties have commenced to properly identify their owners, adding that his organisation had harmonised all the records.

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