Mr Victor Ayeye, the National Secretary of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) insisted that in any transaction that has to do with land, all parties, especially buyers, must be ready to exercise a lot of caution so as to avoid falling into the hands of fraudsters who are out to defraud people in this period of recession.
He said they should be ready to investigate, scrutinise and ask salient questions so as to avoid falling into a trap.
This, according to him, is important not just because land transactions are usually costly, but also because buyers will by so doing be saving themselves of a lot of legal, family, communal and even government problems in the future which might make them lose not just the land in question, but also whatever investment that might have been fixed on it.
“Land transactions require a lot of care and caution, not just during a period of recession like we are in now, but always. All land transactions should be done with certified professionals only. There are those certified by the government to help people sell or buy land and this are the Estate Surveyors and Valuers, and these are the people prospective land buyers should patronise. Anything other than this, then a buyer risks falling into the hands of fraudsters or quacks who don’t even know what steps to take,” said Mr Ayeye.
He further warned, “Quite often, people, in the bid to avoid paying necessary professionals fees which are all approved by the government, opt to patronise those they consider ‘land agents.’ Some have no known offices, while a few who have scramble in shops and other unwholesome places to operate. If you want to buy land using this method, you stand the risk of falling into the hands of fraudulent people, who will collect your money for nothing, and you will have only yourself to blame.”
Mr Ayeye who is also the Head of Practice and CEO of Ayeye & Co., noted that before any land is bought, a buyer ought to, among other things, carry out a legal search about the property in question. The legal search, which will eventually yield a search report, he said, is usually issued by the state government, or local governments, or Area Councils (in Abuja). This he noted would help give details about the authenticity and how safe the land is, so as to avoid throwing one’s money away.