The trend of land grabbing and crimes associated with private land transactions will be a thing of the past if the All Progressives Congress (APC) forms the next government in Lagos State, the party’s governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.
Speaking when members of the Estate Rent and Commission Agent Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN) paid him a courtesy visit at his campaign office in GRA, Ikeja, Thursday, Mr Sanwo-Olu described land grabbing as “criminal and primitive,” adding that those involved in the act would not have a safe haven in the state.
Those involved in land grabbing, Mr Sanwo-Olu said, are discouraging genuine investment in property business in the state, a development, which has affected the economy of the state and rights of individuals.
If elected, the APC guber candidate said his administration would strengthen the Land Grabbing Committee, which had already been constituted by the government. He said the committee would be empowered to prosecute criminals involved in the act.
“We have had various complaints about activities of land grabbers and we are ready to tackle this problem when we come on board,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
“We understand the implication of land grabbing for the economy of Lagos and preventable losses incurred by investors as a result of the activities of land grabbers.
“To tackle the issue, we will need to look at the activities of existing Land Grabbing Committee and strengthen the law setting it up to properly address the issues.
He also said his government would prioritise the elimination of red tape slowing down the process of the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).
“To promote investment in property development sector, we have to stop the land grabbers. We will also fast-track the process of the issuance of C of O.
“We are going to sanitise the procedures and restore the confidence of real estate investors in the government to protect their investment.
“When we remove the red tape, people will create wealth and more businesses would come up. We want to discourage the trend of locking down asset because of the inability to get title for land.”
The ERCAAN chairman in Lagos, Kazeem Adesina, described as “laudable” the home ownership scheme of the Lagos State government, which took off during the administration of Bola Tinubu.
Mr Adesina said the ERCAAN members believed in the leadership capacity of Mr Sanwo-Olu to take the state to another level of development, pledging that the association would work with the APC candidate’s campaign organisation for the party’s victory in the governorship election, next month.
The association also presented a seven-point demand to Mr Sanwo-Olu, urging him to strengthen housing policies of the state.