Land Disputes: Lagos Assembly Calls For Overhauling Of Office of Surveyor General

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state to direct the Surveyor General of the state to overhaul his office with a view to curbing the activities of some surveyors in the state.

The House also resolved to initiate a process to review the Survey Law of the state to bring it to emerging realities.

These resolutions, which was supported by all the lawmakers in the House, followed a Motion moved by some lawmakers in the assembly led by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade during plenary on Monday.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa then ordered the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to inform Governor Sanwo-Olu to direct the Surveyor General of the state to overhaul his office, while the necessary committee in the House was directed to review the Survey Law of the state.

Agunbiade stated that it was important “to curb the nefarious activities of surveyors in the state.

“The state has the smallest land in the country, yet the ownership and control of land usually leads to crisis.

“The level of impunity is becoming so high based on the activities of some surveyors in the state.

“We have laws that regulate the activities of surveyors in the state. Section 16 (1) of the state’s survey law in the state gives the house powers to control the activities of surveyors in the state,” he said.

The Majority Leader added that non composition of disciplinary committee on survey matter, as provided by the law, has led to a lot of issues in the survey.

He said: “This House has dealt with some crisis on issues concerning lands and these arose from improper information in the survey plan.

“We have seen cases where surveyors collect money from people and say the land is not under acquisition whereas it is under acquisition.

“They give wrong information to land owners and cause disputes among people.

“Many people who own land lose the land due to misinformation in the area of survey.

“That was why we searched for the law so that this could be corrected. The House is concerned with the Land Protection Bill.”

In supporting the Motion, Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako-Ijaiye 2) said that the issue of land was very important, adding that it has been a recurrent one.

Makinde stated that they had not been doing digital survey in the Surveyor General’s office, and that some of the instruments they are using for survey in the state were obsolete.

“Incompetence of the technicians is another issue.

“The surveyors use intuitions to determine the land that is free. We need to overhaul the office of the Surveyor General.

“Lagos State is fast developing yet we are having issues of wrong survey despite the fact that no land is vacant now.

“The office of Surveyor General needs to be purged and we need to visit the office,” he said.

In his contribution, the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh (Apapa 2) stated that the Surveyor Registration Council should be up and doing in disciplining their erring members.

He added that surveyors should stop the habit of sitting in the office and sending draftsmen to the field.

This was corroborated by Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe 2), who said that land is to Lagos State what crude oil is to some other states of the federation.

“Due to the scarcity of land, the surveyors ought to do their jobs diligently and sometimes they misrepresent owners of lands in the state .

“They would say they are paying the government whereas they are not doing so.

“The government should set up a disciplinary committee to deal with erring surveyors. So, I support the motion wholeheartedly,” he said.

Also speaking, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1) said that there is a law passed by the House to deal with erring surveyors.

Olowo advised that the state should look at the issue of equipment for surveyors.

He added that the state had been having problem with allocation of lands and that there was no good record keeping in the office of the Surveyor General of the state.

Others that spoke on the matter included Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2), Hon. Desmond Elliot (Surulere 1), Hon. Noheem Adams (Eti Osa 1), and Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo 1).

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