By Kingsley Adegboye
AGAINST the backdrop of Nigeria’s low ranking on the World Bank’s business index which is attributable to service delivery issues and bureaucratic bottlenecks, there is a need to put in place systems and policies that will create a one-stop shop to facilitate unhindered and secured access to all factors of production particularly land.
Subsequently, Lagos state, the commercial hub of the nation, has commenced the automation of its entire land administration process to create a system whereby land titles will be guaranteed.
Account of stewardship
Disclosing this last week at a ministerial briefing to render the account of stewardship of the state Lands Bureau as part of activities marking the first anniversary of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode administration in the state, the Permanent Secretary of Lands Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro, said Ambode had approved the deployment of the integrated land administration and automation system in the state.
According to Agoro, the system provides for a fully integrated end to end land administration platform for a sustainable and automated land administration environment, which will effectively reduce silos of information that exist across the state’s Departments and Agencies, adding that it will eliminate problems associated with redundant data, increase accuracy by reducing manual entry errors, thereby streamlining the entire work flow process.
Enumerating the benefits of the innovation, he noted that it will reduce the time frame for obtaining a certificate of occupancy C of O from initiation to completion to a maximum of 14 days, it will optimise revenue collected from land transactions, it will multiply land transactions and revenues by five or six times of the current level, it will reduce the cost of land transaction and increase incentives for private sector investment and it will enhance the credibility of the state’s land titles leading to land title guarantee.
“This would also open up a secondary mortgage market in Nigeria. There would also be a rebirth of land title insurance where insurance firms would be able to insure land title issued by the government, thus giving the buyer peace of mind”, the P.S. stated.
Agoro who said the process will further result in improved service delivery by providing policy and decision makers, business owners and private citizens more timely access to information thereby enhancing transparency while at the same time, increasing public confidence, pointed out that this intervention is designed to manage information and automate business activities related to property rights registration, transacting and contracting real property and digital preservation of of land-related documents.
“The integrated land administration and automation system is a suite of technology modules that can conduct rapid inventory of land rights, automate and manage land records, create and maintain integrated geographic data accurately and fairly value any property.
“Some of the key considerations of these interventions are work flow and transaction centric which allows for complete modernization and automation of land administration. Applicants will be able to submit and track their applications online. They will also be able to conduct searches and obtain certified true copies of titles online.
“The system will bring about content-sharing which enables different agencies and departments to work on the same data sources, it will bring about data security which eliminates unauthorised activity, it brings about reporting which enables government officials to make better and smarter decisions and brings about geographic information system which integrates with and use existing investment from the Surveyor-General’s office and other GIS users. It further brings about record preservation, digitalizing of paper records which means preservation of valuable documentation”, Agoro said.