Lagos State Government, on Wednesday, launched a Real Estate Transaction portal to curb fraudulent practices in the real estate business. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu unveiled the portal at a stakeholders’ meeting held at Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island.
The portal, the Governor said, will secure investments in property market by checkmating unscrupulous dealings in transactional process. It will also afford property owners and tenants to register and transact genuinely with one another without interference of third parties.
Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied to the event by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said that the launching of the portal became imperative to find lasting solution to incidences of fraudulent and unprofessional practices observed in the real estate sector. The initiative, he said, would promote transparency and best practice in the business.
He said: “Apart from facilitating smooth business relationships between people selling or buying landed property, the portal will also be useful to those in leasing or renting of properties across the State. Removing fraud and doubts from their transactional activities will, in no small measure, contribute to the State’s GDP.
“The data collected from the portal will help the government to formulate policies and programmes to regulate, control and professionalise the real estate sector, which is one of the extremely important needs of mankind.”
The Governor said the State had initially introduced Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) in its civil service in 2012 to regulate, monitor and develop the institutional framework that would enhance the integrity of the property market. The electronic platform, he said, was introduced to consolidate the activities of the department.
Sanwo-Olu used the occasion to reiterate his administration’s commitment to bridging the housing deficit in the State by partnering with private sector, urging stakeholders in the housing sector to embrace the new technology deployed by the Government in securing business transactions in the market.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, hinted that Lagos had more innovative and sustainable plans to improve the fortunes of the real estate sector and promote the State as first destination for property business in the country.
She said the Smart City aspiration of Lagos made it necessary for the Government to track all real estate transactions and capture them electronically with access to data. The cabinet member observed the need by the State to continuously capture and update a unified central database for real estate activities within the State, noting that it would help in planning and decision-making.
The Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, represented by the Federal Controller for Works and Housing, Lagos State Field Office, Mrs. Sarah Alawode, urged stakeholders to embrace the new initiative, stressing that the platform remained critical in strengthening ease of doing business in the country.
Lagos Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai said the event was timely to curb fraudulent practices inherent in real estate business. He added that the launching of LASRETRAD was aimed at standardising the operations of the real estate sector and agents’ operations in the space.