The Lagos state government on Tuesday restated its commitment to stamp out fraudulent practices in real estate transactions in the state.
This assertion was made by the Commissioner for Housing in Lagos, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, at the second edition of the 2017 Stakeholders Forum in Alausa, Ikeja, with the theme: ‘Prevalence of Fraudulent Practices In Real Estate Transaction In Lagos State’.
According to the Commissioner, there had been series of complaints by aggrieved Lagosians who had been defrauded by some unscrupulous estate agents. This, he said, was totally unacceptable.
“What we currently see in the Real Estate sector is that we get complaints from innocent Lagosians that have been duped. That is basically the essence of this forum. We have had one in August, and we want to ensure that we have two in a year where we can educate our Real Estate developers and agents, especially for them to fish out the fraudulent ones among them who’re showcasing them in bad light.
“There will be penalties for any erring agent. It is a criminal offence and anyone found wanting would be made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
According to the Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Housing, Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola, the forum seeks to dissect and find lasting solutions to the prevalence of fraudulent practices in the real estate transactions in the state in particular and Nigeria in general.
Lawal reiterated that the state government was poised to ensure that the three million housing deficit in the state was curbed.
“Starting with the ability to pay, that is the affordability of our citizenry to pay for houses. You know as a state, we are presently in about 21 sites, where we’re coming up with different units. The total units we have from these sites are 5,320. But we have also earmarked 4,355 for out rental policy.
“The housing deficit that exists in Lagos is three million. For Lagos state government alone to bridge that gap, is almost impossible. So, we would need the support of the private sector to partner with the state to reduce the existing deficit.
“That led us to Lagos affordable housing policy, where we have a target of producing a minimum of 20, 000 units in the next four years. We have signed agreement with four developers; we have approval for seven developers. Of the four, three of the developers are in site already
“That’s what we have done on the supply side of the matter. On the demand side, we have the rent-to-own policy, where applicants will have to pay five percent commitment fee and do a monthly payment over 10 years while staying in the apartment,” he said.