LASG warns against illegal real estate operators

By Adeola Ogunrinde

The Lagos State government on Tuesday directed the illegal real estate operators in the state to register with the appropriate agency or face the wrath of the law.

The State through the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority, LASRERA, gave the warning at a day stakeholders engagement and interactive session with critical players in the built sector.

Speaking at the engagement, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Barr. Barakat Odunuga-Bakare, said the need becomes imperative to bring major stakeholders together to dialogue and chart a path to an effective regulatory landscape.

Odunuga-Bakare explained that the forum was way to show the willingness and deliberate commitment of the state government to support and collaborate with all the real estate player for them to be able to navigate the terrain without glitches.

She stated that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has zero tolerance for violation of any form of laws, adding all measures would be taken to prevent incessant building collapse in the state.

“We have some organisation and bodies that have registered initially with Lasrera and that have not followed up with their renewal and to register is a one off because it’s a yearly process and if you have not renewed your certificate, then, you do not have the right to practice real estate in Lagos. If you are a practising real estate without registering with Lasrera, you are practicing illegally. Ad if the enforcement team finds out that you are advertising without the logo of Lasrera inscribed on advertisement board, your organisation will be brought to book.”

“It’s disheartening that people go to bank and borrow money and the building is demolished because the developer did not do the needful. So, by next year, it is going to be a new dawn in the built sector, we are going to clamp down on illegal real estate developers, agents that are not captured by the state government.

“There is need to get data to ensure we capture many real estate players in the state. In Lagos now, proper documentation must be followed before construction can begin in Lagos and going forward, the state is firmed with the policy of getting necessary approvals before construction.
You have to go through the Lagos State Building Control Agency and other agencies that regulate the sector.” she said

She maintained that the interactive session would be continuous so as to avail everyone the opportunity to understand the intricacies of the sector as it relates to Lagos State.

Sanwo-Olu’s aide said “Our goal is to create and nurture an environment that not only obeys existing regulations but also open the possibilities for innovation, creativity, sustainability, and, most importantly, the wellbeing of those we all jointly serve our communities.

“Throughout the course of today’s discussions, let’s uncover the issues, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Let’s share insights, understand differing perceptions, learn from each other’s experiences, and jointly contribute to the evolution of a regulatory framework that aligns with the dynamic nature of the real estate industry”

Speaking on the modalities of the enforcement, LASRERA Boss said the agency is planning to have satellite offices in all local government so that at the local government levels, the operations can be more efficient and effective across the state.

She said her plan is to increase the number of real estate practitioners in the state that will key into the developmental agenda of Sanwo-Olu’s administration in order to drastically reduce the level of fraudulent practices in the sector.

“If you become a victim of fraudulent realtor or developer, you channel your issue to the office of lasrera and the petition will be directed to the legal department and if it is not within our jurisdiction, it will be sent to the Ministry of Justice”, said Odunnuga-Bakare.

The Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau Lagos, Mr. Kamaldeen Olowosago maintained that the state has done a lot in terms of leveraging technology to drive land administration and has pruned down bureaucracy in order to ensure residents scale the hurdles of land challenges in the state.

He said Sanwo-Olu is passionate about land systems, adding ” the session is an avenue to get the feedback and proffer sustainable solutions to the problems”.

The Chairman Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria Lagos State Chapter, Mr Onalaja said the association has enjoyed a robust relationship with the state government, particularly under the leadership of Governor Sanwo-Olu.

Most of the issue raised at the stakeholders engagement revolved around Land systems and physical planning.

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