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Lagos Govt. recovers over N48M, others from fraudulent estate agents

By Chidera Isioma

The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it has recovered the sum of ₦478,134,000 and 18 properties from fraudulent estate agents.

The government said the amount and properties were recovered for third parties who were victims of fraudulent real estate dealers.

The Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, disclosed this during a ministerial press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.

He revealed that the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) had collaborated with the Lagos State Judiciary to expedite court cases related to real estate, ensuring swift justice for victims of fraud.

According to him, the Agency has received 1,702 cases to date, out of which 1,458 were mediated upon, and 1,144 were successfully resolved.

“However, 294 cases were adjourned for further mediation, 141 cases were abandoned due to non-attendance by parties involved, while 103 cases were referred to appropriate agencies. Additionally, there are 8 cases in courts (2 in Federal High Court, 3 in State High Court, and 3 in Magistrate Court),” he said.

Akinderu-Fatai warned residents not to fall victim to fake or dubious estate agents and to patronize registered real estate individuals/organizations.

“It is also important to note that it is an offence for an individual/organization to engage in real estate business in Lagos State without being registered with LASRERA. Let us act responsibly and follow the path of the law,” he said.

He also mentioned that his Ministry, through an improved revenue generation machinery, was able to collect outstanding debts from defaulting allottees in Millennium Housing Estate, Gbagada; Baba Omojola Housing Estate, Gbagada; Millennium Housing Estate, Oke-Eletu; Emeka Anyaokwu Housing Estate, Ikeja and Millennium Housing Estate, Ojokoro, recouping the sum of ₦176,617,500.

The commissioner disclosed that In August 2023, the Ministry of Housing trained an additional 200 artisans under its Master Craftsman Training Programme for craftsmen in the built sector, saying that the six-week programme, organised in collaboration with a consultant and the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Board (LASTVEB), was certified by the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB).

He said the artisans acquired various skills, including plumbing and pipe works, masonry, painting and decoration, carpentry and furniture making, and electrical installations, adding that the graduands were issued certificates, start-up tools/equipment, and work gears.

Akinderu-Fatai also said that due to rising building costs amidst inflation, his Ministry intends to actively encourage the use of local materials and alternative technology in building.

“We are leveraging various relationships with academia and professional bodies to support research into cheaper and alternative building technology,” he noted.

Speaking further, he said that citizens of the State should expect the release of more homes.

“Over 1,600 homes, as many of our ongoing housing schemes will be completed and delivered to the people in due course. The schemes, located in 5 (five) administrative divisions of the State, will be turned into bustling cities in line with our mandate to the people,” he stated.

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