Illegal House Owners Get Reprieve In Ogun

By NBF News

The Ogun State government has given illegal house owners till February 14 next year to regularize and properly docu-ment their properties at a huge discount.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun who disclosed this at the official launch of the Homeowner Charter Programme in Abeokuta yesterday, gave affected home owners the grace period to pick up forms for the exercise, saying he would ensure that all penalties and fines invoked on those who build houses without approval and Certificates of Occupancy are waived while relaxing the documentation requirements and fees to enable many residents afford it.

The governor lamented that the culture of building without approval had become rampant and well-orchestrated in past 10 - 12 years, saying, property owners often resorted to constructing at night and weekends to evade officials of the Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning who were unable to monitor the volume of development.

'For us as a government, the problem meant that our planning for medium and long term needs of our state was being hampered by the lack of data on our residents and their needs. Indeed, one common characteristic of our unplanned areas is shortage of public services. The huge and unrecorded growth in population renders planning a difficult, if not an impossible task. As we move forward in our mission to rebuild, we recognize the urgent need for reliable population data as we plan for the future needs of our dear state', the governor said.

The Homeowners' Charter, the governor explained, presents an opportunity for all those who have built on private lands without obtaining building plan approvals and are therefore unable to apply for Certificates of Occupancy to regularise their status at a huge discount.