16th July, 2012
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, at the weekend presented sub-lease title documents to 1,000 house owners in government housing estates who have duly registered the documents.
Presenting the documents at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Fashola said the beneficiaries were those who purchased government properties before the year 2000, having only until now letters of allocation of such properties or other documents not legally recognised as documents of title.
He said that on assumption of office in 2007, government was concerned about the large number of properties in Lagos State without registered titles.
“Government, therefore, decided to do a number of things to assist property owners in registering their titles, in order to reduce the large number of properties without registered titles in the state.
“This government project of registering titles to properties acquired in government Housing Estates before the year 2000 is also another policy of government aimed at systematic reduction in the number of unregistered titles of properties in the state.
“Let me say that the concern of this government in all of these efforts aimed at reducing the unacceptable number of properties without registered titles, is not for economic benefit on the part of government but geared towards poverty alleviation and financial empowerment of the citizenry,” he said.
Fashola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Housing, Bosun Jeje, said it is an incontrovertible economic fact that an owner of property who failed to register/perfect his title is sitting on dead asset and that such a person by his failure to do the proper thing would be unable to put such property to optimal economic use for his benefit.
“This initiative is, therefore, aimed at making properties to begin to ‘work’ for their owners, since such properties with registered titles being legally recognised, can seamlessly be used as security to obtain loans for the acquisition of other properties and to raise needed finance to meet other needs of the owners,” he added.
The governor stated that applications for registration of the houses in government estates concerned were categorised into high income, medium income and low income,adding that such applications were accepted from house owners on payment of concessionary charges of N20,000, N15,000 and N10,000 respectively.
“Unfortunately, some of the owners of properties targeted by government in this project did not pay the concessionary rates of charges fixed for this title registration, such title registration which ordinarily would have cost them several thousands of naira more as normal transfer charges, going by the present value of such properties.
“However, among those that paid and commenced the procedure, many are still being expected at the government agencies processing their applications to come forward and sign their sub-lease deeds which are ready for signatures and further processing,” he said.
Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said that in line with the policy of government to encourage titling of properties in the state, government decided to target house owners who bought properties from its housing agencies, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, LSDPC and the Lagos Building Investment Company Limited, LBIC, before the year 2000.
“We are here, therefore, talking about those who bought such properties a minimum of 12 years ago (some of you even from our records, bought your properties well over 40 years ago, but before now have only letters of allocation of such properties, without registered title documents of the properties.