Lagos govt call for collaboration to harness opportunities in real estate

MINA Blog- The Lagos State government has called for collaboration of all stakeholders including the real estate professionals, practitioners and property developers to boost the opportunities in the real estate sector.


The Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, made the call on Tuesday, at a one-day stakeholders discussion on Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Law.


The theme of the discussion was: Redefining Opportunities In Real Estate, Regulations and Expectations.


Benson-Awoyinka noted that the real estate industry had many untapped opportunities that could positively impact the businesses of estate agents and other investors in the industry.


 “The overall intention of this forum is for all participants to learn new and relevant skills that would be useful in upscaling your businesses and develop the industry as a whole,” she said.


According to her, the population growth, migration and demand for property from citizens home and abroad, has led to an increase in the demand for accommodation, property investors and home ownership.


Hence, the special adviser said all professionals in the sector should rise up to the challenge.


She added that countries of the world had taken the real estate industry as a serious business and this had contributed immensely to the Gross Domestic Product of many economies, and Nigeria could not be left behind.


Benson-Awoyinka stated that in Nigeria, the real estate remained one of the sectors that had the potential to attract both local and foreign investors.


“For us in Lagos State, we will not relent in tapping fully into these numerous opportunities, and I urge you all to play your part to grow and develop the industry in Lagos state,” she said.


Benson-Awoyinka noted that as a government that cared, it would continue to ensure effective and conclusive environment for real estate business and investments to thrive in the state.


She said: “To unleash the endless opportunities that the industry has to offer, regulations must be put in place to enact and protect the interest of investors and the general public.


“The regulations we will discuss here today will lead to enforcement by the state government.


“As real estate stakeholders, we must be credible, accessible to provide accurate information on property sales and rentage, with ownership records when dealing with prospects in the industry.


“All hands must be on deck to tackle the challenges, alleviate the fears of the public and investors, so that we can all benefit from the opportunities in the industry and emerge stronger,” said Benson-Awoyinka.


Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, said the newly passed LASRERA bill by the state Assembly was not intended to regulate the practitioners but to ensure that all transactions by stakeholders in the industry were captured.


 “The law becomes necessary in order to curb fraudulent practices in the real estate sector and also assure investors in the sector of a fair deal as a way of promoting ease of doing business in Lagos State.


 “We are interested in securing the transaction of investors and provide necessary support for all relevant stakeholders in the real estate industry.


 “The bill has been passed in July, just awaiting the assent of the governor for the law to become effective,” he said.


In his keynote address, Mr Gboyega Fatimilehin, Founding Partners, Diya Fatimilehin and Co., said countries with an existing regulatory framework for the real estate sector and its services were better placed to attract investors.


“Regulation that is not effective in meeting its objectives can be as harmful to the business, consumers and the government.


 “Real estate agents must be skilled in protecting, advising, and informing customers while maintaining a high ethical standard in their business dealings,” he said.


Mr Afolabi Balogun, Managing Partner, Libra Law, said it had been observed that most times, banks were the major problem with foreclosure of mortgaged property.


Balogun explained that this was largely due to lack of proper documentation by the banks.


“The foreclosure and redemption of a mortgaged property is governed by the provision of Order 55 Rule 1 of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019.


“It requires the bank to only file an originating summons and furnish the court with substantial particulars of the debt, but the banks most times are unable to do this,” he said.


According to him, if the banks are more diligent in their approach, the courts can speedily make orders of foreclosures in their favour.

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