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Operators chart course for real estate sector, urge regulation

By Bertram Nwannekanma and Adaku Onyenucheya
04 November 2019   |   3:50 am
Worried by the influx of charlatans into the real estate sector and its attendant loss of revenue and confidence, critical operators in the sector have called for conceited efforts to regulate the sector.

Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Toke Benson-Awoyinka (left); Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat; State Commissioner of Housing, Moruf Akinderu- Fatai and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu during a one-day stakeholders meeting on real estate agency organised by the State’s Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD).

Worried by the influx of charlatans into the real estate sector and its attendant loss of revenue and confidence, critical operators in the sector have called for conceited efforts to regulate the sector.

Sanitising the sector, they said, will require collaboration between government and professionals in the built environment.

The stakeholders, who spoke at one-day stakeholders engagement forum by the Lagos State Real Estate Transactions Department (LASRETRAD), in Lagos, expressed dismay over the non regulation of the real estate sector, saying it has hinder investment and loss in its contributions to the national and states’ Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

Those who spoke at the event, include, the president, Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Rowland Abonta, National Secretary, Association of Estate Agents of Nigeria, Gbenga Ismail, President, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Ugo Chime, managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Ahmed Dangiwa, his counterpart in Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, Kehinde Ogundimu and Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos branch, Yemi Akangbe.

Others include Managing Director, Urban Shelter Limited, Hajia Saadiya Aliu Aminu, represented by Taiwo Olushola, Group Managing Director, NEDCOM Oaks Limited, Dr. Kennedy Okonkwo, among others.

NIESV president, who led a discussion at the event themed: “Lagos Real Estate: Achieving 21st Century”, said estate surveyors and valuers had all the skills to transact in all real estate transactions.

He stressed the need for government agencies to enforce relevant laws on the matter because of the benefit accruable in patronising trained professionals.

For Dr. Okonkwo, there is a need to develop a database of developers and real estate operators which can guide clients and investors to make informed decisions during transactions.

Also, NBA Chairman, Lagos branch, Mr. Akangbe called for the creation of Ombudsman to mediate between aggrieved clients and players so that the activities of charlatans are mitigated in the market.

According to him, there is no data bank to check the unscrupulous players in the sector.

Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Ahmed Dangiwa, said since the supply end of the real estate sector is in dire need, there need for integrity check for real estate developers and other professionals in the industry.


Chime called for properly regulated of the supply side as done in the demand side to secure transactions. He also called for the alignment of land administration and fiscal policy to reduce the medium-high risk inherent in the sector.

For Adedeji, who was represented by the National Secretary, Gbenga Ismail, there is no clear-cut rule of engagement in the sector leading to chaos.

To tackle the chaos, he said the players must be registered, trained and belong to a national body.

Managing Director of Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, noted that the impact of sharp practices on investment resulting to loss of revenue and crisis of confidence.

He called for the code of governance for real estate practitioners.

In his remarks, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Femi Hamzat, urged called for partnership with the real estate sector in order to protect and sustain the integrity of their profession and business.

He stressed that the state as a responsive government has a duty to ensure that nobody takes undue advantage of the existing gap in the housing sector to exploit or perpetrate fraudulent acts against innocent citizens.

The governor, who enjoined the participants to explore the deployment of new technology to create a platform for establishing business relationships with potential clients and existing ones, assured that his administration is very passionate about bridging the gap in the housing sector with their active participation.

He also promised to strengthen the operations of LASRETRAD with a view to achieving the 21st-century vision of the state I real estate business.
Earlier, the State Commissioner of Housing, Moruf Akinderu- Fatai said the event themed: “ Lagos Real Estate: Achieving 21st Century”, was a timely response to the need to curb fraudulent practices that are currently on the increase among some unscrupulous real estate agents/property Developers practitioners in the course of their dealings with prospective customers who are residents to the state.

According to him, the event sought to address the aspiration of the government to build a 21st-century economy that has systems and structures that are based on global standards and best practices.

“As a responsive government, we owe it a duty to protect our people from the criminal tendencies of these bad eggs in the real estate business. 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 added.

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN at the event called for more active roles from state governments in the area of access to land and security of transactions in order to attract investments.

The minister, who was represented by the Federal Controller of Housing in Lagos, Mrs. Sarah Alawode, advised players in the real estate sector to commit themselves to institutionalizing and entrenching all outcomes of the discussion with a view to developing a transparent, resilient and dependable property market and business environment that is consistent with global best practices.

He expressed hope that this initiative would enhance the confidence of prospective land buyers in the system.

The event organised by LASRETRAD for a better harmonious working relationship with critical stakeholders in the nation’s real estate sector was aimed at positioning the sector to meet the needs of the 21st-century economy.