Lagos Assembly Goes Tough On Illegal Real Estate Operators With Regulatory Authority Bill

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The Lagos State House of Assembly is set to pass a new bill that will regulate real estate operations in the state.

The bill entitled; “Lagos Stats Real Estate Regulatory Authority” went through public hearing on Thursday 17th December, 2020 at the Assembly pavilion.

Chairman of the Committee on Housing, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, Alimosho 1, said during the event that the bill was meant to check the excesses of operators in the real estate industry and reduce quackery in the sector.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni said that public hearing is part of the practise of the House before any bill is passed into law.

Obasa added that real estate was an important sector in the state that must be regulated.

Reviewing the bill, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said that it was divided into 37 sections and that the Regulatory Authority would be headed by a Chairman, who shall be a person of repute and a professional in his area of practice with not less than 15 years of cognate experience.

In his comments, the National President of Estate Rents and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Alenkhe said that estate surveyors and valuers were omitted in the composition of the board and that rhe bill was an amendment to the 2007 law on real estate.

Also speaking, My Ayobayo Babade from the Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria advised that young people should be encouraged and made members of the board.

Mr. Bolaji Raymond from the Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria said that the bill did not provide for parallel regulation of the people in informal and formal sectors of real estate.

Raymond added that there was no penalty for not meeting the requirements for registration and that the only stated penalty was for those that had registered.

“Section 27 of the bill talks about eligible applicants, who did not register. Most of the people on the streets are not registered and what they do is not criminalised or penalised in the bill.

“With Section 16, we are encouraging what we are running away from as an individual does not need to register with the CAC according to the bill,” he said.

However, Mr Olukayode Olatunji, a lawyer faulted the Assembly for holding the public hearing, saying that issues relating to who has the right to control real estate in the state was before a court of law.

“There is a court order on this matter. The House of Assembly should not waste time with the public hearing. We are in court and we must respect the law. We are lawmakers, so we should not break the law,” he said.

Also speaking, a professor from the University of Lagos, Professor Martins Dada wanted the house to define what was meant by real estate transaction and that one problem should not be solved by creating another problem.

Dada added that the House should think of how to help the economy of the state and that every legislation should help people’s businesses to grow.

In his comments, the Secretary of Senior Civil Servants Association of Nigeria in the state, Comrade Biodun Aladetan said that they were not being carried out in the scheme of things in the state.

Aladetan stressed that labour is missing on the proposed board of the authority, saying that this was unfair as the issue concerns workers.

Responding, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun Sanni said that even if the matter was in court, the House has the power to legislate on any issue based on a judgment of the Supreme Court.

The Deputy Speaker said that even at that the House was not joined in any issue concerning what Mr. Olatunji spoke about.

Eshinlokun-Sanni promised that the issue of the composition of the board would be considered and that all the matters raised by stakeholders would be given consideration in the Bill.

He added that no law is dated earlier than 2015 and that all the laws in the state were reviewed by the State’s Law Reform Commission in 2015.

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