Building Plan Approval in Nigeria

Best Guide on how to Process Building Plan Approval in Lagos, Nigeria

There is no developed city that does not have a Building Plan Approval system as to what is to be built, how it should be built and where is to be built. The objective of this guideline is to ensure healthy living for the populace and facilitate a safer, decent and aesthetic community.


For anyone to carryout out any development in many jurisdictions around the world, there is a need to get approval from the authorities in those jurisdictions.

In this post, I will be explaining the processes involved in getting approval to build on any land in Nigeria.

Building Plan Approval

If you are developing any building project in any of the 36 States of Nigeria, including the FCT, please make sure you obtain a building plan approval, the Town Planning Authority in your State is Responsible for regulating how to build your house in such a way that it complies with the development guidelines of your city.

What Exactly is a Building Plan Approval / Building Permit

A Building Plan Approval / Building Permit is the official approval given by the statutory town planning authority in your project location/city. This approval allows you or your contractor to go ahead with the construction or redevelopment project you have planned to embark upon.

Please Note:

Building Plan Approval / Permit is different from a Survey Plan or a Certificate of Occupancy.  They are different things serving different purposes. Legally, before you can embark on any physical development or construction project in Nigeria, you must first apply for a development permit/approval.

Learn about Certificate of Occupancy 

Lagos State Case Study

In Lagos State Nigeria, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development is responsible for the approval of building plans in Lagos State.  The Ministry has different agencies and departments responsible for facilitating different levels of approval, depending on the type of project you want to embark on.

General Building Approval / Permit Requirements

  1. Architectural drawings
  2. Survey Plan
  3. Structural Drawings – Certified by a Registered Engineer
  4. Title Document
  5. Tax Clearance Certificate
  6. Government Levies


You will need to submit the required documents to the Local Planning/District Office, then show the evidence of payments via receipts. After all these, the appropriate government officials conduct a physical inspection of the subject property.

Stakeholders in Building Approval / Permit in Lagos State

Lands Bureau

Primary responsibility is Land administration, management and control. They allocate land, regularize and also register titles. This is the ministry where you obtain your C of O; get your deed of assignment, deed of mortgage, deed of gift, Will and letter of administration registered.

Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development

Responsible for vetting and approval of Building Plans in Lagos State. This is the go-to ministry in charge of any development on any land in Lagos State.

Office of the Surveyor General

The primary function of the Office of the State Surveyor General is to provide Survey Framework to facilitate the registration of a Certificate of Occupancy under the Land Use Act.

Before you can process Title Registration in Lagos State, your property survey plan must be cleared by the Office of the State Surveyor General.

Ministry of Environment

For some types of development in Lagos, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development requires a permit/clearance from the Ministry of Environment.

Ministry of Transportation

For some classes of development in Lagos, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development will require you to get a permit/clearance from the Ministry of Environment.

Lagos Inland Revenue Service – LIRS

LIRS is responsible for the collection of taxes and other revenues. All payments made or to be made to the above Agencies Ministries and Department is to be channelled through L.I.R.S

New Town Development Authority – NTDA

The agency’s primary functions include Management and control of developed Government schemes/estates and the Selection of land for schemes with functional infrastructure for development either for Government or private initiative.


The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Always do your research and consult the relevant expert before you embark on any physical development project in Nigeria.

Author Profile

Bolaji Afolabi
Bolaji Afolabi
I am Bolaji Afolabi, I am a Partner at Globalclique, we provide Real Estate Technologies, HR/Talent Acquisition/Outsourcing Support and E-Business Solutions. We are a multi–disciplinary Solution Provider.

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