L-R: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mr Wasiu Akewusola; Special Adviser to the Governor, Mrs Adetoke Benson-Awoyinka; Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Abdul-Akeem Ayodeji Amodu during the Real Estate Practitioners/ Property Developers Stakeholders Forum at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium Alausa, Ikeja at the weekend.

The Lagos State Government at the weekend insisted that the registration of real estate practitioners across the State is not negotiable.

It said the registration process was in the interest of the practitioners and members of the public.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Adetoke Benson-Awoyinka, stated this when she addressed a gathering of Real Estate Practitioners at a Forum held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja alongside some relevant Government Agencies in the built sector on improved 21st century processes.

She said that the registration would protect accommodation seekers from falling prey to fraudulent practitioners and would also increase public confidence in genuine practitioners.

The Special Adviser also declared that it had now become illegal to practice Real Estate Business in the State without a valid Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) License.

She emphasized that above every other reasons, the need to protect the lives and property of all residents of the State being the primary responsibility of government, necessitated the coordination, regularizarion and registration of genuine Practitioners in the Real Estate business.

According to her “let me emphasize that engaging in real estate transactions without registering with the State Government or obtaining necessary approval is a punishable offense under the law”.

She made reference to several reports on the pages of newspapers and social media about people who fell victims of fraudulent Real Estate transactions unknowingly, stressing that government could not fold its arms and allow fraudulent practices to thrive.

In her words “Just recently, a Physically challenged couple were duped in Mushin by a Real Estate Agent while they were seeking for accommodation. This development which is now becoming a daily occurrence in Lagos property market must be corrected and may not have happened at all if all parties involved are registered with the government”.

A cross section of stakeholders at the event

The Special Adviser stated that the stakeholders’ gathering was a Forum of interaction between the government and those in the business of securing accommodation for people to identify how best to grow and sustain the sector which plays a major role in the economic development of Nigeria and Lagos State.

In her words, “You need to join hands with this administration so that the unregistered practitioners and those with ulterior intentions would be identified and eliminated from the Real Estate Business in Lagos,” Benson-Awoyinka advised.

She commended the support of the stakeholders to the State Government since the establishment of Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department which has now been upgraded to an agency known as Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority ( LASRERA)

The Special Adviser noted that under the LASRERA law, disgruntled residents now have the right to forward their complaints to the Agency and that if the Agency discovered that their rights had been violated, legal proceedings would be instituted against such practitioners according to the provisions of the law.

The new Agency, which was approved by the State Executive Council in November 2019 has an additional mandate to establish operational offices in all the 57 Local Government and Local Council Areas across the state.