The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka has explained that the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), is not usurping the regulatory rights of the leadership of the various Professional Bodies in the Real Estate sector.
The Special Adviser, who made the clarification on Tuesday, while welcoming the Executive Members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) on a courtesy visit to her office in Alausa, stated that the Agency is only interested in collaborating with all relevant stakeholders, practitioners and professional bodies to bring sanity to the practice and restore public confidence in the profession.
She reiterated that the State Government’s intention is to help address the incidence of fraudulent practices that have become rampant in the profession in recent times, emphasising the need to have a database of those in the sector for regulatory purposes,
While pointing out that all Real Estate Practitioners must register their operations with LASRERA, the Special Adviser outlined the categories for registration as Housing Cooperatives, Developers, Estate Agents/Realtors and Estate Brokers.
Benson-Awoyinka clarified that LASRERA is not interested in sending the practitioners out of business but instead wants to use the avenue of registering the practitioners to regulate, monitor and curb menace of some unauthorised practices in the sector, saying “We need to separate the wheat from the chaff”.
“We also need to address the issue of impersonation among Real Estate Practitioners for the benefit of the Professionals, Lagosians and the State Government as a whole. Let us conform to global practices so as to build investment in the Real Estate industry that can be emulated by other professionals. There is a need for us to have a database of those in the sector for proper regulation in order to curb fraudulent practices”, she declared.
The Special Adviser expressed the Lagos State Government’s willingness to collaborate with the members of professional bodies to sanitise and save the industry from sharp practices and protect residents seeking accommodation in the State.
She, however, sought the cooperation of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) in tackling the issue of fraudulent practices and unprofessionalism among practitioners of Real Estate businesses in Lagos.
Responding, the leader of the visiting team and Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NIESV, Mr. Adedotun Bamigbola said although the body has regulations and disciplinary procedures for its erring members, NIESV is ready to assist LASRERA, when the need arises, on the training of Real Estate Practitioners to make their operations conform with international best practices.
He maintained that NIESV will partner the present administration in developing the sector as part of efforts to realise the lofty intentions of the Lagos State Government to restore public confidence in the real estate business.
While agreeing that the industry needs to be sanitised with the implementation of appropriate laws, Bamigbola agreed that the practitioners stand to benefit from the registration and partnership with the government.
“Although NIESV has strict regulations and disciplinary rules for its erring members, there is still much more that could be done in the area of regulations and professionalism”, he noted.