Gabriel Enenche —
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has assured Lagos residents that the government has resolved to make the payment of house rent monthly a reality.
He also expressed concern over the rate of unprofessionalism 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.
Sanwo-Olu expressed these concerns at the Opening Ceremony of the Third Lagos Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibitions organised by Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), in Victoria Island, Lagos, recently.
On the high rate of shady real estate transactions, 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.
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.
He said, “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 a floodgate of Economic prosperity to the State and Stakeholders when potential risks are minimal 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
Monthly House Rent Payment
Governor Sanwo-Olu has assured residents of the State, especially accommodation seekers that the planned monthly rental payment for accommodation has not been jettisoned, stressing that his administration is currently working on the modalities for the effective take off of the decision.
The Governor said that the delay in the initial take-off date for the planned monthly rental payment for accommodation was as a result of the government’s determination to ensure that all gray areas that can hamper the sustainability of the monthly payment scheme are addressed.
According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, what we have done was to return to the drawing board to re-examine the appropriate timing and best strategy that can be adopted to make the policy sustainable.
He averred that the decision of the government on the monthly rental payment was to support tenants and landlords regarding rent remittance, saying that the State Government cannot compromise its stance in protecting the interest of both house owners and accommodation seekers in all parts of the State.
He said the new rent policy will reduce the burden of rent payment for Lagos residents, Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, informed that the monthly rental payment will greatly ease the burden of yearly payment of rent on Lagos residents.
Sanwo-Olu appreciated all the stakeholders in the Real Estate Sector for making it a point of duty to gather on annual basis for the Conference to deliberate on the path towards achieving a 21st Century Economy in Lagos State through the Real Estate sector.
“I appreciate you for demonstrating your willingness, through your presence at this conference to partner with us to develop a real estate sector that reflect the status of our State as the commercial and industrial verve Centre of Nigeria.
“This 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.”
On her part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka stated that the Real Estate Sector has been plagued with risks and losses which have been critical issues for practitioners in the Sector.
Benson-Awoyinka noted that the globalization on transparency on Business Transactions in the Real Estate Markets, as demanded from international Standard of any investments, necessitated the need for the involvement of government in the regulation of the Real Estate Sector which informed the establishment of LASRERA.
“As an integral part of the Real Estate, Government’s regulations must address the ethical standards of potential risk in terms of losses for the protection of the citizenry’s investments.
“The risks of losses in the sector can be curb, if the individuals/ organizations that are operating in the Real Estate will register with LASRERA so that fraudulent practices can be reduced to barest minimum,” the Special Adviser emphasised.