A Bill for a Law to regulate real estate transactions in Lagos State and for other connected purposes,’ scaled through second reading.
The Bill if passed into a law is expected to address the anomaly and sharp practices of real estate operators in the state.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who presided over the plenary believes the intendment of the Bill which is coming from the executive, is well captured.
He noted, “I have no doubt in my mind, the Bill will be of great essence. It is a cure for (dubious) real estate agents to protect property owners.
It is also an opportunity to attract foreign investors into the State especially in the highbrow areas.”
Obasa reiterated that when passed into law, it would increase the State internally generated revenue.
The Chairman House Committee on Housing , Hon. Bisi Yusuff said, “it is a Bill that is long over due. We have prevalent estate transactions full of anomaly.
“We have a situation where an agent collects money from several people on a single property, people have lost confidence in the real estate agents,” he stated.
He also pointed that section 22 of the Bill, which is a provision for Committee of Enquiry, is a good development that would give room for the public to lodge complaints.
“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.
He however, pleaded for a review of the proviso in section 2 of the bill that deals with the establishment and composition of the board, citing the need to reduce to 10 years the 15 years cognate experience requirement for the chairman of the board.
Yusuff also faulted the power to borrow, saying that it is clearly anchored on recurrent expenditure only not capital, adding that it is a blank cheque for the board if it is not subjected to the house approval.
In his contributions, Hon. Setonji David ( Badagry 2) stated that professional bodies in the real estate such as estate valuers, COREN, should be co-opted for the law to have desired effects.
The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated, “There is an enlargement of coast in the new Bill compared to the extant law. It is more encompassing particularly the provision of authority to regulate transactions.”
He, however, cautioned that the provision on taking over of abandoned buildings should be carefully couched, noting “what constitutes ‘abandoned’ should be spelt out.”
While commenting Hon Kehinde Joseph( Alimosho 2) who was a former Special Adviser on Housing, observed that most of the functions of S.A. on Housing have been taken over by the authority in the proposed law.
But, Hon Ibrahim Layode ( Badagry 1) countered, saying “Your fear is what the Bill seeks to remove. The law will do justice. There will be an agency which used to be a unit in the ministry.”
Layode hinted that most of the agencies collecting fees are not making returns to government coffers.
He added that the bill when assented to, will aid speedy dispensation of justice on issues that arise in the real estate business.
However, the Bill was committed to the committee on Housing to report back in two weeks.
Meanwhile, the member-elect in last Saturday’s bye-election in Kosofe state constituency 2, Hon. Femi Saheed, made an appearance to witness the plenary session.
Saheed, who after the sitting, paid courtesy visit to the Speaker in his office.
He won with a total vote of 12,434 while his close rival, Hon. Sikiru Alebiosu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) scored 2068 votes in total.
Saheed is expected to be inaugurated as a lawmaker by next week.