The Lagos State government, on Tuesday, says it has confiscated two houses allegedly used in defrauding unsuspected residents in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, made this known during the 2020 ministerial press briefing to commemorate the first year of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.
Benson-Awoyinka said that henceforth, any fraudsters caught would be prosecuted.
She said that the government had resolved to take such strong measures to stop developers and agents from defrauding members of the public in the state.
The governor’s aide, who is also in charge of the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD), said that the agency was currently prosecuting two developers who allegedly duped people in Ketu and Mafoluku areas.
She said that the government had also seized their properties and that her office was working on ways of selling them, adding that the proceeds from the sale would be used to settle those who were defrauded.
Benson-Awoyinka, however, appealed to members of the public to always patronise agents and developers, who were registered with the agency.
”We have successfully reviewed the Estate Agency Regulatory Law, Cap L28, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 presently in operation in the state, which provides for the establishment of the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority.
”The essence of this law is to regulate real estate transactions in Lagos State by identifying persons eligible to be licensed as real estate practitioners and provide for the issuance or renewal of annual permits,” the special adviser said.
According to her, the agency has the responsibility of maintaining a register of licensed real estate practitioners and sanctioning of unlicensed ones in the state.
”However, there is a need to sanitise real estate transactions in the state. In achieving this, the state must have a database of persons dealing in real estate transactions for it to control their activities.
”Thus the government must amend the law to reflect its efforts in monitoring the transactions of real estate in a way that is proactive so as to protect its citizens and rid the state of fraudsters,” she said.