To ease the stress of acquiring documents for property bought in Lagos State, the state government has introduced a new electronic certificate of occupancy (e-C of O) to 55 property owners in the state.
The objective of the e- C of O is to increase public/investor confidence by instilling integrity in the C of Os issued by the state government.
At a brief ceremony held in Ikeja during the weekend to kick start the process, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola presented the documents to the property owners.
Fashola explained that the migration from the paper title to electronic C of O was a response to the problem of counterfeiting.
According to him, the illegal printing of the “Yellow Paper” has affected the reliability of the C of O as a legal title to property in the state.
“This new electronic document is more secure as it is designed to eliminate cloning and issuance of documents that are not genuine. Those issued with this e-C of O can be sure they have bought land rather than law suits. The new document guarantees safety of properties,” he said.
Fashola assured that the government would ensure speedy issuance of the new document to clear the backlog of applications.
He disclosed that holders of the “Yellow paper” would soon be required to turn in their old document to obtain the electronic one.
Speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said the issuance was faster and that applicants who fulfill all necessary conditions will get their document within 45 days.
Before now, the processing of C of Os in Lagos State has been made cumbersome by bureaucratic bottlenecks that unnecessarily delay the issuance of the document. There have also been cases of multiple C-of-Os being issued to different parties on the same piece of land. This has led to consuming litigations, while some people have perfected the art of cloning or illegally duplicating genuine C of Os with a view to perpetrating fraudulent transactions.