Lagos moves to fight ‘fraud’ in real estate sector

The Special Adviser to Lagos Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, has urged the people of the state to support government’s efforts at eliminating fraudulent practices in the real estate industry.

Benson-Awoyinka’s appeal was contained in a statement issued by the State Real Estate Registration Agency (LASRERA) on Sunday in Lagos.

She advised residents to patronise only registered real estate practitioners/property developers.

“We should not allow ‘briefcase’ real estate agents/ property developers and artisans to take over the real estate sector at the detriment of professionals who abound across the state,” she said.

According to her, real estate is not just about buying and selling properties alone, but also about provision of quality services to potential clients.

Benson-Awoyinka advised stakeholders in the sector to leverage on the limitless opportunities in the value chain of the sector.

The special adviser stated that the mega city status of the state had necessitated the establishment of LASRERA for the safety of residents, investors and protection of the interest of players in the real estate industry.

She noted that following the regulation of the sector by the agency, there would be maximum value and return on investment for the investors in the industry.

According to her, LASRERA has helped in boosting the state government’s image, promoting the ease of doing business and also increasing foreign direct investment for the state in the real estate sector.

The special adviser maintained that the sector must be protected to restore public trust for genuine practitioners in a bid to have deeper penetration of the real estate market.

“The judgment of the Federal High Court in Lagos on March 22 was in favour of the state government, which affirmed the constitutionality of the state government and LASRERA to regulate the sector in the state.

“With the judgment, government has the power to regulate the practice of real estate transactions within the state, just as LASRERA now has the legal right to sanitise the real estate sector for increased growth and more investment,” she said.

Benson-Awoyinka stated that the state’s real estate sector would conform with global best practices to ease business for investors in the Diaspora and individuals, with assurance of safety of return on their investments.

She advised practitioners in the industry to support the state government in making the sector viable and transparent for all local and international investors.

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