… CALLS FOR VIGILANCE AMONG RESIDENTS, PROFESSIONALS TO CURB MENACE

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has expressed concern over the rate of unprofessional practices in the real estate sector in recent time, saying that the development calls for increased vigilance on the part of all genuine real estate practitioners and the government.

The Governor said that in view of the rate of reported cases of dubious acts by some real estate agents who are taking undue advantage of the real estate market, being one of the fastest growing industry in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular, registered real estate practitioners must uncover the quarks in the profession in order to salvage the image of the real estate practice.
Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed these concerns at the Opening Ceremony of the Third Lagos Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibitions Organized by Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority-LASRERA, on Tuesday, at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
He recalled that the conference and Exhibition was initiated as a platform for Individuals/Organizations operating in the Real Estate Sector to network and address developmental issues affecting the real estate business in Lagos State.
According to Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the chosen theme for Conference; “A Town Hall Meeting On The Lagos Real Estate Emerging Markets – Mitigating Potential Risks” was adopted to once again, beam search light on this sector against the background of new tactics and strategies being deployed by unscrupulous and fake practitioners to defraud unsuspecting clients.

His words: “As a Government, we owe it a duty to safeguard investments of people who may be unaware of some unprofessional practices in the market. The need to restore public confidence to this sector led to the establishment of the Lagos State Real Estate transaction in Lagos State to protect the citizens and investors from the potential risks emerging in the market.

“LASRERA has defined minimum operational standards and guidelines for citizens to abide with. The guidelines provide a comprehensive checklist for the citizens to correctly identify and have competitive list of registered individuals/organizations in order to avoid doing business with unregistered Real Estate practitioners in the system.

“We can’t talk about risks in the real estate sector without mentioning the violation of principles of transparency and Real Estate Laws. These to a greater extent, are major potential risks in this sector.”

While saying that the State Government, through its regulatory agency, LASRERA, cannot sanitize the industry solely, considering the huge real estate transactions going on in different parts of the State, Sanwo-Olu advocated joint monitoring of this sector to curb quackery and unlicensed operators.

He maintained that the Real Estate Market can be floodgate of Economic prosperity to the State and Stakeholders when potential risks are minimum in this Sector.
He also used the occasion to plead with Lagosians and everyone interested in real estate business to be cautious in any financial transaction they engage in by fact checking the track records of the organisations they are dealing with to ascertain if the individual/organization is registered with LASRERA and other relevant government Agencies in the built sectors.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka noted that the impersonation in the Real Estate industry is becoming unethically high and it’s seriously contributing to fraudulent proliferation in Real Estate Market which is having negative impact on the reputation of individuals/ organizations including the regulating Agencies of the State Government.
“This development calls for appropriate regulation, implementation and enforcement of the Real Estate Laws in order to restore sanity into the sector and instil public confidence in the real estate profession and it explains why the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority – LASRERA is mandated to regulate and register those individuals / organizations who are involved in this Sector.
“Lagos State Government is determined to ensure sanity is restored to the State’s Real Estate Environment with the review of the Agency’s Law on Monday, 7th February, 2022, to protect investors/investees against any potential risks and also prosecute individuals / organizations, boost the activities of Real Estate Markets with accredited and licensed Practitioners through lasrera.lagosstate.gov.ng,” the Special Adviser added.

The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on E-GIS and Physical Planning, Dr Olajide Babatunde, said that with the computerisation of documents at Lands Bureau, people can sit comfortably in their houses and offices and access information on government portals relating to properties and lands in Lagos State.

Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr Olabode Agoro said that the registration of individuals and organizations by LASRERA is to make sure that only qualified and certified practitioners are allowed to practice in the State’s real estate sector.
During the Panel Session on Deploying Technology for Transparency and Growth of the Lagos Real Estate Market, The Moderator, Dr Roland Igbinoba, Founder, Pison Housing and President Nigerian Proptech Association, revealed that GIS is critical for development and Transparency in the Real Estate Sector.

Adeoti Sobowale
Deputy Director Public Affairs LASRERA
6th December,2022

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