The Lagos State House of Assembly is set to pass a new bill to regulate operations in the real estate sector.The bill entitled ‘Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority’ went through public hearing on Thursday at the assembly pavilion.
The Chairman, Committee on Housing, Bisi Yusuff, addressing experts in the sector, noted that it had become necessary for the assembly to take the issue confronting the real estate seriously through necessary legislation.
He said the bill was aimed at checking the excesses of operators in the industry and reducing quackery in the sector.
In his keynote address, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, stated that the public hearing was part of the practice of the House before any bill was passed into law.
He added that real estate was a critical sector that had not been adequately regulated and overseen in Nigeria, especially Lagos State.
Obasa said, “This bill commendably seeks to create a regulatory authority to oversee, monitor, regulate and manage the property transactions in Lagos State.”
The Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, said the bill was divided into 37 sections, adding 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.”
Some estate operators however expressed worry over the proposed bill and complained that it did not provide for parallel regulation of the informal and formal sectors of real estate.
The National President of Estate Rents and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria, Godwin Alenkhe, noted that estate surveyors and valuers were omitted in the composition of the board, adding that the bill was an amendment to 2007 law on real estate.
A member of the Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria, Bolaji Raymond, said that the bill did not provide for parallel regulation of the people in informal and formal sectors of real estate.
He added that there was no penalty for not meeting the requirements for registration, stressing that the only stated penalty was for those that had initially registered.
Raymond said, “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.”
The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers first Vice President, Johnbull Amayaevbo, said there were many areas of the bill that needed to be addressed and suggested that the state government identified the key professionals to look at the bill.
“I am very sure that the intention of the bill will still be met if the state government collaborates with all those in the profession, that is in the built environment,” he said.
Also speaking, another member of the AEAN, Ayobayo Babade, advised that young people should be encouraged and made members of the board.
Responding, Eshinlokun-Sanni promised that the issue of the composition of the board would be considered, adding that all the matters raised by the stakeholders would be given consideration in the bill.
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