Lagos president “outraged” by bureaucratic delays  

The president of Lagos municipal authority has declared that he will leave his post following the local elections “tired and outraged” by the bureaucracy and demands that have stalled the approval of the authority’s municipal urban development plan (PDM). The Lagos Câmara is the only one in the country without an approved PDM.

Júlio Barroso explained that in 1994 a plan was approved, but differed from the one discussed in a public debate. It was in force for two years but it was then annulled by a court.

He revealed that the PDM had formulated certain regulations for a piece of land which was later considered a ‘green space’. Since this was not discussed publically, the owner of the land contested the decision and eventually won the case in 2002.

Barroso was elected that same year and, he said, strived “to continue the process of approval of a new PDM”, but changes in the legal system, such as the creation of a regional development plan (PROTAL), forced the municipality to revise the whole document.

“It has been a Titanic fight to adapt the plan to the new realities and get the State authorities to accept our solutions, or at least have us understand what they want,” he told Lusa news agency earlier this week.

He stressed that the municipality has hired three teams to create the plan, but a solution that satisfies every requirement has not been found despite the continuous proposals that are made and then rejected.

Barroso does not believe, however, that the proposals were rejected “in bad faith”.

“The legislation is elaborate and does not take into account what was done before its creation. There are entities that, using the grey areas of the law, sometimes make demands or point out flaws that the entities hired to work on the plan were often unaware of or consider excessive.”

He added that any kind of action, such as classifying a cork oak, requires verifying plant life, consulting various entities and gathering new opinions. Barroso believes this has been stalling the process, and has left him feeling pessimistic about the possibility of a short-term solution.

“It has been a struggle which has left me tired and a bit outraged, because I feel like there was never any kind of positive or constructive collaboration from the authorities, except for rare but fine exceptions,” he concluded.