Details Of Barr. BARAKAT ODUNUGA-BAKARE’s Interactive Session
Tuesday, 28th November, 2023 was a day major real estate players in Lagos gathered at The Marriot Hotel, Ikeja-GRA, Lagos in a Stakeholders meeting with the new Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Housing, Barrister Barakat Odunuga-Bakare.
The event was hosted by the new Special Adviser through the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority, (LASRERA).
Speaking at the engagement, she said the need becomes imperative to bring major stakeholders together to dialogue and chart a path to an effective regulatory landscape.
Odunuga-Bakare explained that the forum was a way to show the willingness and deliberate commitment of the state government to support and collaborate with all the real estate players for them to be able to navigate the terrain without glitches.
She stated that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has zero tolerance for violation of any form of laws, adding all measures would be taken to prevent incessant building collapse in the state.
“We have some organisation and bodies that have registered initially with LasEra and that have not followed up with their renewal and to register is a one off because it’s a yearly process and if you have not renewed your certificate, then, you do not have the right to practice real estate in Lagos. If you are practising real estate without registering with Lasrera, you are practicing illegally. Ad if the enforcement team finds out that you are advertising without the logo of Lasrera inscribed on advertisement board, your organisation will be brought to book.”
“It’s disheartening that people go to the bank and borrow money and the building is demolished because the developer did not do the needful. So, by next year, it is going to be a new dawn in the built sector. We are going to clamp down on illegal real estate developers, agents that are not captured by the state government.
“There is need to get data to ensure we capture many real estate players in the state. In Lagos now, proper documentation must be followed before construction can begin in Lagos and going forward, the state is firmed with the policy of getting necessary approvals before construction.
You have to go through the Lagos State Building Control Agency and other agencies that regulate the sector.” she said
She maintained that the interactive session would be continuous so as to avail everyone the opportunity to understand the intricacies of the sector as it relates to Lagos State.
Sanwo-Olu’s aide said “Our goal is to create and nurture an environment that not only obeys existing regulations but also opens the possibilities for innovation, creativity, sustainability, and, most importantly, the wellbeing of those we all jointly serve our communities.
“Throughout the course of today’s discussions, let’s uncover the issues, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Let’s share insights, understand differing perceptions, learn from each other’s experiences, and jointly contribute to the evolution of a regulatory framework that aligns with the dynamic nature of the real estate industry”
Speaking on the modalities of the enforcement, LASRERA boss said the agency is planning to have satellite offices in all local governments so that at the local government levels, the operations can be more efficient and effective across the state.
She said her plan is to increase the number of real estate practitioners in the state that will key into the developmental agenda of Sanwo-Olu’s administration in order to drastically reduce the level of fraudulent practices in the sector.
“If you become a victim of fraudulent realtor or developer, you channel your issue to the office of Lasrera and the petition will be directed to the legal department and if it is not within our jurisdiction, it will be sent to the Ministry of Justice”, concludes Odunnuga-Bakare.
The Chairman of Lagos State Chapter of REDAN, Dr Bamidele Onalaja, also gave a speech and he opened the floor for public discussions.
“We gather here with great anticipation and enthusiasm as we respond to the cordial invitation extended to us by the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA).
I extend our heartfelt gratitude to Barr. Barakat Odunnuga-Bakare, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, for hosting this crucial Stakeholders Engagement/Interactive Forum. It is indeed a testament to the collaborative spirit between the public and private sectors, a synergy that is essential for the sustainable development of our vibrant real estate industry.
The significance of this gathering cannot be overstated. Our industry plays a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Lagos, a city that is not only the economic heartbeat of Nigeria but a key player on the global stage. As real estate developers, our responsibilities go beyond constructing buildings; we are integral partners in building communities, fostering economic growth, and enhancing the overall quality of life for the residents of this great state.
This forum provides a unique opportunity for us to engage in meaningful dialogue with the government and regulatory authorities. It is a platform to share insights, discuss challenges, and collaboratively explore innovative solutions that will drive the sustainable growth of the real estate sector in Lagos State.
We appreciate the effort put into organizing this event, and we look forward to productive discussions that will contribute to the advancement of our industry. As stakeholders, we are committed to aligning our goals with the vision of the Lagos State Government and Madam special adviser. Together, we can create an environment that attracts investments, encourages responsible development, and ensures that the real estate sector continues to be a driving force in the economic prosperity of Lagos.
Once again, thank you for having us, and we eagerly anticipate a fruitful and constructive session”.
At the meeting, some of the developers who raised questions are the CEO of MKH homes, who said he lost almost 1 billion naira this year because of government agency’s loopholes, especially the Lagos Land bureau. According to him, he bought a land with COfO and he did proper check from the land. He said, he was told to go on that it was a perfect deal but got a big shock when another person suddenly showed up after a few months that the property belongs to him and that led to the revocation of his own Cof O.
Another person also challenged the Lagos State government on a similar issue. Mrs Alaba Alozie, MD, LASGIDI Property. She said, she has to stop selling land this year because some of the land she sold, she’s yet to take possession. Today, you tell us this land is good. You go ahead to us but tomorrow when we come again, its another story. What is happening Lagos State? She asked.
Another person who spoke at the event was a land broker who practices in the Canadian real estate industry.
He said he has a land that belongs to the Federal and Lagos State is laying claim on it. He asked to know how to resolve this and also said he also has a client who wants to sell a property with a C of O but was surprised when another person who lays claim to the property also brought another CofO and they are both authentic. How can Lagos State resolve this?
In response to some of the questions the Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau Lagos, Mr. Kamaldeen Olowosago maintained that the state has done a lot in terms of leveraging Technology to drive land administration and has pruned down bureaucracy in order to ensure residents scale the hurdles of land challenges in the state.
He said Sanwo-Olu is passionate about land systems, adding “ the session is an avenue to get the feedback and proffer sustainable solutions to the problems”.
He assures them (developers) that his office will take that to account and that’s one of the reasons why he was appointed by the governor Sanwo-Olu. He promised to table the matter before Mr Governor and proper action will be taken, he assured..