Lagos revolutionises land acquisition as Sanwo-Olu launches automated application portal

… New tech-based system creates seamless titles registration, access to State land data

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday, launched the e-GIS portal — a one-stop digital platform that sanitises and revolutionises the process of acquiring, documenting and verifying land in Lagos.

As the portal went live, applications for land titles transitioned from the centuries-old manual paperwork into digital form. The innovation has also completely eliminated services of middlemen in processing of land titles, thereby terminating the cost applicants hitherto paid to lawyers, surveyors and registration agents to get land titles.

Anyone can now verify, search and apply for land titles, including Governor’s Consent, at Lagos State Land Bureau from the comfort of their homes at the click of a computer button.

Applicants can also request for a government survey on any State land and apply for Certified True Copy (CTC) on their landed property.

The e-GIS portal introduced by the Sanwo-Olu administration came on the foundation of Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) bequeathed to the State by the administration of ex-Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, now President of Nigeria, who started digitisation of land title documents in Lagos.

The Babatunde Fashola administration built on the EDMS structure, introducing electronic documentation of Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O). Ex-Governor Fashola phased out the old format of C-of-O, and introduced a computer-generated paper with advanced security features, including barcodes, thereby eliminating forgery and cloning in the State’s land records.

Sanwo-Olu’s e-GIS has now organised all archived land records dating back to the 19th century and merged with all land titles, while also storing historical transactional data on every parcel of land in the State’s cadastra.

The launch of the e-GIS portal came with a huge relief to the Governor, who said the project was almost abandoned, given the unanticipated delays and setbacks suffered in the course of digitisation process.

Sanwo-Olu said the portal had transformed land allocation in the State, while bringing precision to the economic value of land. The Governor described land in Lagos as “golden egg”, noting that the new technology-driven administration system had sanitised and enhanced transparent governance in land transactions in the State.

He said: “The launch of e-GIS portal today gives me a great sense of joy, because I had initially nurtured the fear that the project could be abandoned due to failed attempts to get it launched over the last 15 months. Today, marks another milestone in our journey to make Lagos a 21st century city where citizens can have access to land information and services from the comfort of their homes.

This commitment underscores our dedication to creating an enabling environment for Lagosians and investors, eliminating bottlenecks that are associated with manually driven systems. The new technology-driven system which aligns with our Smart City vision will promote accountability, engender transparency and improve the quality of service delivery to our citizens.

“Before now, Lagosians used to experience a nightmare in getting their land titles and search data on land they wanted to purchase. The e-GIS platform will give our customers delightful experience in services and turnaround time. This innovative and automated process has transited land transactions in the metropolis from manual paper form into a digital format, interpreting them into our Land Registry’s workflow.”

Sanwo-Olu said he was pleased that the innovation would reduce transaction turnaround time on land acquisition and resources committed to search for data.

The new platform, the Governor said, would foster collaboration among the Government’s agencies in the land administration ecosystem, facilitating data integration among Ministries of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Environment and Water Resources, Science and Technology, Transportation, and Works and Infrastructure.

By adopting Momentum Land Administration Solution software, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos had joined the global league of cities using technology to create sustainable solutions.

The Governor said: “The software is a reliable tool that customises and streamlines business workflow. It aims for higher productivity to enhance revenue generation and secure our documents, while improving transparency and efficiency in land matters.

“I implore every staff member to key into this new system and put in your best into this job. The new system is seamless, secure and efficient in eliminating corruption and undue gratification in land administration. We must ensure Lagosians feel the new experience without any conditions attached to it.”

Special Adviser to the Governor on e-GIS and Urban Development, Dr. Olajide Babatunde, said the e-GIS office was set up by Sanwo-Olu to streamline data of MDAs and create single database that would ease the troubles hitherto experienced by the public in land administration system.

For further data integration, Olajide said the Governor also established 20 e-GIS units across MDAs which required automated spatial data in their daily operations.

“This system has enabled us to adopt a participatory approach to ensure that we provide, enable, adapt and sustain not only the buildings and infrastructure built for the portal, but also protect public trust,” the Special Adviser said.

Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Bode Agoro, who started the project as Permanent Secretary in the Lands Bureau, said the Sanwo-Olu administration had created a data chain that could not be broken by any system, thanking the Governor for standing with the team during tough periods, while they worked to bring the project into a reality.

Agoro said before the Tinubu administration initiated EDMS, search period on land data and information used to take four week, which reduced to three days after EDMS kicked off.

“With Governor Sanwo-Olu’s e-GIS portal, every information about any State land will appear on the system at the click of a button. This is creating a chain that cannot be broken by any system. The new innovation has enabled us achieve data cleansing, just as it helps us sift out forged land titles in Lagos,” Agoro said.