Nigeria: Real Estate Regulation Bill Scales 2nd Reading in Lagos Assembly

A Bill to regulate Real Estate Activities in Lagos State and for other connected purposes has scaled second reading at the state House of Assembly.

The house passed the bill for second reading through voice votes conducted by the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, on Tuesday in Lagos.

The speaker subsequently committed it to the House Committee on Housing to report back in two weeks.

The lawmakers had earlier taken turns to contribute to the matter.

Blazing the trail, Mr Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja II), noted that the bill would further redress the anomalies in the real estate business.

He said: “This bill seeks to redress the anomalies of real estate and consultancy services amongst other issues that ought to be looked into in the real estate business.

“It will also see to the valuation of real estate assets, prevent the breakdown of law observed among the realtors, real estate manager and others.

“It makes recommendation of policies that influence better deal in the lands bureau, New Town Development Authority NTDA and others, it will also enhance the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.”

Contributing, Mr Kehinde Joseph, Alimosho II, noted that the bill would help streamline the activities of real estate agents.

Joseph also cited the likely conflict that might arise with the job specification of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing.

Also, Ibraheem Layorde, Badagry I, hinted that most of the agencies collecting fees were not making returns to government coffers.

Layorde added that the bill, when passed and assented to, would aid speedy dispensation of justice on issues in the real estate business.

Commenting, Bisi Yusuff, Alimosho I, Chairman, House Committee on Housing, affirmed that the bill was long overdue owing to the prevalence of anomalies in real estate transactions in the state.

“There are quack agents collecting rent for owners, yet make no returns nor commit money to those they claim to represent.

“The Dubai experience and data base that affirms the genuineness of transaction is in view,” he said.

Mr David Setonji, Badagry II, was more concerned about the involvement of professional engineers, especially the registered civil engineers in real estate.

Setonji said the matter dealt with housing and certified engineers, who must hold the sanctity of the professional body they belonged to with fear.

The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said owners of perceived abandoned buildings or uncompleted ones needed to be contacted before taking action against them.

“I am of the opinion that certain buildings are not really abandoned, the period need be stated, the penal section need be put in proper perspective,” he said.

Obasa, however, stated that he had no doubt that the bill was a very good one.

“It stands to cure the challenges faced by our people in Lagos and it also gives an opportunity to attract foreign investors and having proper regulation makes it attractive and safe for business.

“This bill is hereby committed to the Committee on Housing to report back in two weeks,” he said.

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