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Lagos seeks NIESV’s cooperation to curb real estate fraud

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The Lagos State Government on Wednesday sought the cooperation of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) in tackling fraud and unprofessionalism among real estate practitioners.

Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Special Adviser to the state Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Housing, made the request during a courtesy visit by the executives of NIESV, Lagos State.

She said that the government, through the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), was interested in collaborating with all relevant stakeholders, practitioners and professional bodies to bring sanity to real estate practice and restore public confidence.

“The state government is aware of the existence of several regulating bodies and professional ethics guiding real estate practitioners and is not usurping the regulating rights of the leadership of the various professional bodies.

“The involvement of the state government is to help to address fraudulent practices that have become rampant in the profession in recent time.

“There is need to have a database of practitioners in the sector for regulation purposes; therefore, real estate practitioners must register their operations with LASRERA under four different categories,’’ she said in a statement.

The special adviser listed the categories as: housing cooperatives, developers, estate agents or realtors and estate brokers.

Benson-Awoyinka said that LASRERA was not interested in sending practitioners out of business.

She said that the motive behind registering the practitioners was to regulate, monitor and curb unauthorised practices.

“We need to separate the wheat from the chaff and also address the issue of impersonation among real estate practitioners for the benefit of the professionals, Lagosians and the state government.

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“Let us conform to global practices so as to build investment in real estate industry that can be emulated by other professionals.

“There is need for us to have a database of those in the sector for proper regulation in order to curb fraudulent practices,” she said.

Responding, Mr Adedotun Bamigbola, Chairman NIESV, Lagos State Chapter, said that the institute had regulation and disciplinary procedures for its erring members and was ready to assist LASRERA to curb fraud in the sector.

Bamigbola said the institute would also offer training to real estate practitioners in an effort to ensure that their operations would conform to international best practices.

“We are willing to be part of the government’s indices to develop the sector, regulate practitioners and restore public confidence to real estate business,” he said, according to the statement.

The chairman assured the government of the association’s support, saying that the practitioners would benefit from the registration and partnership with the government. (NAN)

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