The Lagos State Government has assured financial institutions, including banks, that there will be returns on their investments in Mortgages due to the proposed amendment of the Lagos State Mortgage and Property Law.

The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, made this known recently at Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos, during a roundtable discussion on the incorporation of Foreclosure Law into the Lagos State Mortgage and Property Law.

She said that the roundtable discussion was not only initiated to safeguard the development of the real estate sector in the State but also to ensure professionalism and global best practice, stressing that the proposed Mortgage and Property Law seeks to encourage growth in Real Estate and regulate consumer loans for property realization in the State.

In her words: “The proposed Mortgage and Property Law seeks to create a conducive environment for an accessible and affordable mortgage for the benefit of people of the State to acquire their own homes by paying a certain percentage of the cost of the unit and paying the balance over a period of years whilst residing in the property”.

“The proposed amendment Bill, when signed into Law, will include sale by public auction, voluntary surrender of mortgaged property in lieu of foreclosure, and foreclosure in default of payment of mortgaged amount”, she added

Benson-Awoyinka said that the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is keen on developing the sector, through properly laid down regulations that would ensure local and international investors are attracted, and that the highest level of integrity is maintained in the real estate sector.

She informed that the Governor has consistently reaffirmed his commitment towards ensuring the provision of affordable and decent accommodation for the citizens of this State, hence, the present administration has adopted a multi-dimensional approach to reducing the housing deficit to the barest minimum despite the prevailing economic downturn.

Also speaking at the event, the State Attorney-General General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, said that once the law is passed, issues concerning mortgages in Lagos State will be a thing of the past.

Onigbanjo said that with the law amendment, Lagos will be providing certainty in the law regarding sales of mortgaged property and foreclosure to give confidence to the mortgagee who has given out his money; in the event of default, he will be able to realise the security pledged without the undue stress when it comes to litigation.

He urged local and international investors in the real estate sector, as well as the financial institutions, to look out for the passage of the law, noting that once it is passed, the issues concerning mortgage equity redemption, foreclosure and sale of mortgaged property, among others, will be more certain, more predictable, more investor-friendly and would protect the vulnerable.

The Commissioner noted that the gathering of stakeholders in the real estate industry was to discuss the issue of having a foreclosure law for Lagos State, to deal with the issues that arise on mortgages by financial institutions and banks complaining that they cannot realise their security with the law.

“The plan with the law amendment is to change the old order and take steps to ultimately lead to a revolution in the real estate industry in Lagos State”, he said.

The Chairman House Committee on Housing, Mr. Rasheed Makinde, said the gathering was convened to find a robust way of doing business in the real estate sector in Lagos, adding that the discussions aimed to make transactions between the financial institutions, mortgage and mortgagor seamless.

In his contribution, the Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Mortgage Reliance Company (NMRC), Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, envisaged that the law amendments will provide the enabling legal environment and framework to attract investors into the real estate sector.

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