ERCAAN seeks new body to monitor estate agency practice in Lagos
Piqued by the activities of quacks among its fold, members of the Lagos Chapter of the Estate Rent and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN) have called for the upgrading of the State’s Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) to an agency.
The upgrade, they said would help in proper regulation of agency practice and distinguish genuine professionals from quacks. The body had been bedeviled with controversy over the activities of individuals that exploit home seekers. In some circumstances, millions of naira had been lost to these people, which ERCAAN claims are quacks.
The State’s Chairman, Mr. Godwin Alenkhe who led a delegation of ERCAAN executives on an advocacy visit to The Guardian last week, lamented that LASRETRAD has remained a department in the Ministry of Housing nine years after the bill was passed to law.
This development, he said has impacted negatively on the ability of professional real estate agents in Lagos to regulate activities of quacks in the system.
Alenkhe, who was received by the Deputy Editor, Dr. Paul Onomuakpokpo, Assistant Editor, Investigation/ Special Publication, Kabir -Alabi Garba and Business Editor, Clara Nwachukwu, also extolled The Guardian for its unbiased, sincere and truthful reporting of events in the country.
According to him, The Guardian has made immense contributions to the public on the importance of shelter through proper investigation and dissemination of information.
He however urged the newspaper to help correct the public wrong impression of the association, saying members are made up of group of honest estate agents that have been in practice in the last 30 years.
On the effort of the association to purge itself of unprofessional activities, he said the body with over 62 zones has written to the state government, where it put forward an 11-point agenda on the need to upgrade the department for effective enforcement of the laws.
He stressed that the state government is losing huge sum of revenue for lack of proper registration of estate agents because LASRETRAD has remained a department under the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing.
Alenkhe also spoke on the allegations of encroachment by estate agents saying there was the need for role definition of each professional body in the real estate profession.
According to him, some professional bodies have exploited delay on the registration of the body, which only came on board in 2007 to encroach on its core mandates.
He therefore urged the media to partner with the association to educate members of the public and government on their activities as well as on the need to patronize registered agents to curtail cases of malpractices in estate agent business.
On the issue of one year rent and the recent Lagos law against land grabbers he said the association has been in the forefront of its agitation because it gave property owners control of their property as well as over recalcitrant tenants.
He also stressed that the law has provided cautions for land grabbers and property owners and urged the media to sustain the tempo for maximum effect.
The chairman also stated that the association has a conference in few days time with the theme: “ Effective Government Policy and Land Investment in Lagos state” to sensitize the public on the activities of the association.
Earlier, Dr. Onomuakpokpo thanked the association for visiting the Guardian but expressed worries that the impact of the association are not really being felt by tenants, especially on the area of checking the activities of quacks among them.