The Lagos State Government has commenced issuance of electronic certificate of occupancy (e-C of O), which will now phase out the yellow paper format that has been in use since the enactment of Land Use Act, 1979.
The electronic format is fitted with security features which would prevent unauthorised access and other unlawful tempering with the stored electronic documents and information.
The Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Lands Bureau, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola made the disclosure at a news conference he addressed alongside the bureau’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Aina Salami and Registrar of Title, Mrs. Dayo Akintoye among others.
At the news conference, Muri-Okunola said the processing of the electronic certificate of occupancy “incorporates technology-driven security features,” which he said, made it extremely difficult “to clone or forge the paper on which the certificate is printed.”
According to him, the commencement of the new process marks the gradual phasing out of the yellow paper certificate of occupancy, which until the formal notice from the state government is still a valid legal title document.
He added that the process of conversion from the yellow paper format to the electronic format “is an on-going exercise and until further notice by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), the yellow paper duly issued remains valid.”
The permanent secretary disclosed that the state government would publicly present the first batch of electronic titles to their holders next week, noting that the original copies of the electronic titles would not be collected by proxy.
He, therefore, reeled out key innovation and changes on the electronic titles, explaining that the paper used for the electronic certificate of occupancy “was specially designed for the Lagos State Government by a world-renowned security expert.
“The yellow form A3 size paper used in printing the yellow paper format is being replaced with a user-friendly secure A4 paper, which enables automated processing of the C of O.”
He said the introduction of the e-C of O gave the opportunity to revise some of the clauses and contents of the certificates, taking cognisance of current trends and development and ensuring compliance with relevant laws.”
He added that the sun print survey plan in the yellow paper “is being replaced with an ‘as-built’ digital survey plan obtained from the Lagos State Geographic Information System, which is accurate to 10cm. The digital survey plan will now be electronically signed by the Surveyor-General of Lagos State within the automated system of processing.”
He cited another major innovation to better secure the e-C of O document, which he described as the document features encrypted with enhanced 2D barcode that will appear on the electronic format. He said the barcode contains security information that can only be viewed with an enabled barcode reader.