People often ask me to use the coordinates picked on a property they are interested in to verify the true owner at Alausa. They are always surprised and disappointed when I say I can’t verify the ownership of a property at Alausa except the property has a registered deed/existing title. The truth is, in most cases, if you take the coordinates of a land to Alausa for verification, nobody will be able to tell you who owns the land. You have to find out the owner yourself through whatever documents the seller presents, asking questions in the neighbourhood and any other means you can employ. It is quite unfortunate that Lagos state does not have the technology to do this and that’s why people get scammed too often.

I believe there has to be a way to keep track of the ownership history of every property and to monitor all property transactions in a state –especially Lagos state. There ought to be one geospatial database where every single real estate transaction is recorded in a way that makes it extremely difficult to purchase a property from the wrong person or buy a government committed land or pay for a property that has already been sold to someone else. The location, ownership details, history and boundary coordinates of every property should be stored in a geospatial database. Any real estate transaction consummated and not recorded in this database will be considered null and void.

Once this is in place, whenever anyone needs to confirm the owner and history of a property, the boundary coordinates of the property will suffice. Lagos state government will charge a fee for this service and I believe that most people will be willing to pay to get the facts of a property before making any commitments.

It is not rocket science. Lagos state government really needs to work on this.