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Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, explained the shortfall was as a result of the fact that almost all the government land schemes were fully subscribed and closed for further allocations. He added that dull economic activities caused by low-key activities occasioned by low public sector spending also affected the spending power of people and impacted negatively on the bureau's revenue.

'Lack of economic vibrancy witnessed in the country during the period under review put corporate performance of land administration under severe pressure; the direct consequence of the unprecedented downturn on major sectors of the economy was lowness in expected revenue generation unlike in previous years', he said.

Muri-Okunola assured that the bureau is targeting improved revenue performance this year and beyond through a number of new land schemes and other revenue-enhancing initiatives that are in the pipeline. He said the bureau diversified its efforts by adopting modern practices to keep up its leading position in land administration in the country. He lamented that some land schemes were not available for sale because work on the provision of the necessary infrastructure on the schemes could not be completed.

Meanwhile, according to the Lands Bureau chief, the state government is set to start issuing electronic Certificate of Occupancy (e-C of O) in September this year. He said the e-C of O is designed to check the fraud associated with the old C of O which has been in existence since 1978, adding that the new C of O is geared towards providing international standard format that will be acceptable to all.

'The introduction of the e-C-of-O will bring to an end the issuance of the present C-of-O, which has been in existence in the state since 1978. The e-C-of-O is designed to prevent all forms of unwholesome activities perpetrated by fraudsters and to deliver to the people a current international acceptable format,' he stated.

The permanent secretary noted that the e-C-of-O was supposed to have come into effect last year, but its take-off was shifted to September this year in order to allow for the correction of grey areas identified during the pilot test that involved the government estate in Ogudu and to put all necessary infrastructure in place. He added that the state government issued 2,004 Certificates of Occupancy (C-of-O) between January and December 2011, registered 3,548 title documents and released 230 mortgages within the period.

The permanent secretary also disclosed that the state government, through the New Town Development Authority (NTDA), is intensifying efforts to meet the housing needs of Lagosians through the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (HOMS) Initiative.

According to him, parcels of land have been created within government schemes for the development of affordable housing, adding that the HOMS project has been earmarked in many locations with well over 300 hectares of land allocated for the purpose. These locations include Igando, Lekki Peninsula; Ijanikin, Badagry, Oba-Akran, Omole, Isheri Oshun in Alimosho, Ilupeju, Mushin etc.