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Guide to obtaining building plans approval in FCT

On the other hand, the victims also contend that they have right to shelter anywhere in Nigeria as bonafide citizens, irrespective of their financial strength, more so that Abuja is known as the land of unity and equal opportunity. Meanwhile, it is important to note that, there must be land allocation accompanied with approval to develop, before one should commence the development, at least for the purpose of sanity and orderliness, not only in Abuja. Since the amount of money involved is very large, people must comply with the rules and regulations to guide against unnecessary lost to demolitions in the event of any form of illegality.

 All developers wishing to commence developments of plots shall apply on prescribed application forms obtainable upon payment of relevant fees from the Authority. Completed application forms are to be accompanied with photocopies of title documents such as Certificate of Occupancy or Right of Occupancy with receipts of payments; Title Deed Plan (TDP); Properly prepared plans on standard A3 size in 3 copies, drawn to scale of not less than 1:500 site plan and floor plans of 1:200 and 1:100 architectural drawings; 3 copies each of structural, mechanical and electrical drawings. Others are; Site Analysis Report (SAR); Environmental Impact Analysis Report (EIA) for those developments required.
All Plans and Reports are to be sealed by the relevant professionals and submitted both in hard and soft copies. Also, all applications in respect of Petroleum Filing Stations (PFS), Private hospitals, Hotels, etc, shall be accompanied with letter of licenses of the authority regulating that activity. Example, for PFS, there should be license from NNPC, fire fighting equipments and water hydrant, including fire service and police reports. Whenever approval is granted construction shall commence within 2 years. Otherwise developer applies for validation. Developer is to apply for Setting-out approval when excavation for foundation is made, and obtain the setting out approval before continuing with further development.
 In general when people are allocated plots in Abuja they must strive towards its development. One risks revocation of his allocation when he fails to develop, especially if infrastructure is provided to the neighbourhood. In practice, genuine property developers acquire land more through financial transaction than direct allocation. In such cases people must take precautions against acquiring fake or cloned title documents. Because, even after successfully acquiring building plans approval, once the documents are fake, the approval is futile. Furthermore, people must Design plans in line with the development control guidelines and regulations. Density and location of plot must be ascertained prior to commencement of building design.
All layouts in the city or Area Councils must have ministerial approval before the plots are allocated. Other precautionary measures are the confirmation whether the plot one intends to acquire have the ministerial approval. Prospective developers must conduct a search at the AGIS before any land transaction. Successful search is not enough to seal a deal. To guard against buying a cloned document, it is very necessary to trace the plot’s ownerships history and directly reach and confirm that it was the successive owners that disposed it themselves before reaching the last person transacting the business with you. Never agree with any authority staff that would claim to stamp your plans and backdate the approval, because he cannot cover you when it is discovered. These activities are fraudulent, and are easily discovered because they can never get the adequate backups from the system and records at the department registry. One can apply and get his building plans approved, so long as he observes the above procedure. If lost he can be guided by the many honest ones available. All prospective house buyers should also confirm that the mass housing or individual housing developer satisfies all the above requirements, including genuine building plans approval before commencement of work. Otherwise in the event of any illegality the occupants would also be inconvenienced and his investment would be very hard to be recovered. Your money is valuable do not risk it under desperation. One must take his time to make proper confirmation otherwise he fails into the wrong hands.
Above is a paper presented by the columnist on the occasion of the 7th Abuja Housing Show at the  Shehu Yar’Adua Center on the 25th June 2013.  

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