Ekiti Assembly moves against exploitative estate agents, filling stations

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By Emmanuel Ani

The Ekiti State House of Assembly has passed a resolution, urging the state government to raise a task force to go after estate agents who impose excessive charges on prospective property buyers and renters.

The assembly also passed a resolution against fraudulent Point of Sale (POS) charges imposed by operators of filling stations in the state, describing the situation as unacceptable.

The legislators at a plenary on Tuesday, said they were also concerned about manipulation of fuel pumps by filling station owners and managers to cheat prospective buyers.

Moving the motion to address excessive charges by estate agents and owners of filling stations during the plenary, the Majority Leader, Hon. Tolulope Ige (Ekiti Southwest Constituency 2), expressed concern that alleged fraudulent practices have exposed further hardship on the people.

Hon Ige in his lead debate said the House would not fold its arm and allow the people of the state to be exploited by unscrupulous estate agents and fuel station operators.

Seconding the motion, Hon Temitope Longe (Oye Constituency 1) said the Assembly had received several complaints from the people of the state on the activities of fraudulent filling station owners who have imposed excessive POS charges on customers patronising their business outlets.

Hon Longe revealed that some fuel stations reject cash transfers from their customers but usually direct their customers to locations near their business outlets to patronize POS operators they have stationed there to make payments with excessive charges.

He revealed that the Assembly summoned fuel marketers to a meeting where the legislators expressed their concern and disapproval of the alleged exploitation of buyers of petroleum products especially petrol.

Hon Tunde Idowu (Ikere Constituency 2) drew the attention of the Assembly to the fact that there are unregistered estate agents who should be differentiated from the registered ones for the matter to be properly handled and good result achieved.

He condemned the exploitation of the masses by estate agents and motorists and motorcyclists buying fuel by owners of filling stations.

In his own contribution, Hon Tunde Oke (Ikere Constituency 1) urged the Assembly to assign to a relevant Committee of the House to look at the relevant laws with a view to rectifying the anomaly so as not to allow the businessmen to capitalize on any law to exploit the people.

Hon Iyabo Fakunle-Okieimen (Ilejemeje Constituency) condemned what she called the extortionist spirit in all spheres of business in the state maintaining that a vibrant Consumer Protection Agency is needed to control the prices of goods and services.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, appreciated the mover, the seconder and all members who contributed to debate on the motion describing their nature as altruistic.

He said: “There should be a task force by a relevant agency of government to move into filling stations because we cannot allow such extortions to continue. The Task Force should begin to move round the stations and close down those found carrying out such fraudulent practices. The Task Force should regulate compliance, enough if extortion of our people.

“The unregistered estate agents are the ones creating problems for our people. The government should see to how to regulate them, there should be a Task Force to go after unregistered estate agents.

“The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the State Internal Revenue Service should see to the issue of unregistered estate agents. All estate agents must be registered and their activities regulated.”

After passing the resolution, the House adjourned sine die. The motion for adjournment was moved by the Majority Leader, Hon. Ige and seconded by Hon. Ayodeji Adegbite (Ado Constituency 1).

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