Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Mr Wasiu Adedamola Akewusola, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson- Awoyinka, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and the Commissioner for Ministry of Housing, Hon. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai during a Stakeholders’ Engagement on Real Estate/Agency Business held in Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday, 30th October, 2019.
Lagos State Government has launched a Real Estate Transaction portal as a way of addressing fraudulent practices in the Real Estate business.
Speaking at the event which was held at Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island alongside his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Governor Sanwo-Olu informed the gathering that his administration is keen on securing lives and investments of Lagosians.
The portal, according to him will also afford property owners and tenants to register and transact genuinely with one another without interference of third parties.
Apart from this, Sanwo-Olu said that the activities of property market would now be better monitored and unscrupulous dealings checkmated in transactional process.
“The launching of this portal became imperative to find lasting solution to incidences of fraudulent and unprofessional practices observed in the real estate sector and as a way of promoting transparency and best practice in the business,” Sanwo-Olu, added.
The Special Adviser to the State Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson – Awoyinka in her welcome address at the event, said that the Stakeholders’ Forum attests to the fact that the State Government is willing to partner with the private sector to develop the housing sector in creating awareness to all residents.
She maintained that contrary to the erroneous belief that the Government is hostile to private business owners, Benson-Awoyinka posited that the present administration, under Mr Babjide Sanwo-Olu, is desirous of seeing every resident of the State prosper and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) of the Country.
She stated that the 21st Century vision of the State Government demands that all Real Estate stakeholders and transactions be known and captured electronically with access to data by the citizens in real time, as Real Estate to Lagos is as Oil to Nigeria.
She underscored the need to provide, develop and continuously capture and update a Unified Central Database of Real Estate activities within the State while making it accessible for objectives of planning and policy decisions.
This, according to her, necessitated the decision of government to partner with relevant Professional Bodies in the Housing sector to eliminate sharp practices and identify impostors who claims to be accredited building or housing sectors practitioners, but whose sole objective is to defraud unsuspecting members of the public who engage their services in renting, leasing, buying, selling and property development.
She restated the vision of the state government to provide an enabling environment and transparent Real Estate sector conforming to international best practices while safeguarding the interests of all stake holders.
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Fatai Akinderu said that the Theme of the event: “Lagos Real Estate: Achieving 21st Century” represents a timely response to fraudulent practices that is currently on the increase among some Real Estate/ Property developer practitioners in the business, stressing that the gathering would also address the aspiration of government to build a 21st century economy that has systems and structures based on global standards and best practices.
In his words, “We all know that if the unwholesome practices continue, they will pose a threat to our collective prosperity and will also have an adverse effect on the economic activities of the State in particular and the Country as a whole. For our nation to be respected among others there must be sanity in all sectors, including the real estate business.”
He, however, urged all stakeholders in the Real Estate business to be transparent and display integrity in all their dealings with the public and also encouraged others who are in the real estate business to register with LASRETRAD for a better harmonious working relationship with government.
It is however, the responsibility of Government to partner with relevant Professional Bodies in the Housing sector to eliminate impostors, fraudsters, charlatans and sharp practices associated with members who claims to be accredited building or housing sectors practitioners, but whose sole objective is to defraud unsuspecting members of the public who engage their services in renting, leasing, buying, selling and property development.
“The ultimate aim is to eliminate the bad eggs in the industry and punish in accordance with relevant provisions of the State Law, thereby restoring the integrity of the profession within the State and Nigeria as a whole.”
Also speaking at the event, the Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN. Represented by the Federal Controller for Works and Housing, Lagos State Field Office, Mrs Sarah Alawole admonished Real Estate / Agency practitioners to adhere strictly to the operational rules and improve quality service delivery to potentials consumers.
He added that the importance of shelter cannot be overemphasised and one of the security needs of human being.
ASST. DIRECTOR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS (LASRETRAD)