The Administrator-General and Public Trustee (AG&PT), Lagos State, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, has restated the commitment of her Office towards ensuring that Lagos residents are fully protected under the law.
Mrs. Rotimi gave the assurance on Friday during an interview with the crew of ‘City of Lagos’ TV Show, adding that the vision of the agency is to have an office that is efficient, reliable, trustworthy and become the number one Public Trustee of choice.
In her words: “The major functions of the Office of AG&PT include the administration and management of the estates of deceased persons, especially those that died intestate. However, that does not rule out those that died testate (leaving a Will) because the Office also represents and defends estates in court matters where the agency has been included as a party or where the court asks the Office to be a party to the case”.
“The Office also administers equitable sharing and partitioning of estates of deceased persons, such as obtaining Letters of Administration (LA) in cases where a deceased died intestate and the family needs to access funds in the bank. We also act as a receiver in the Administration of Estates to ensure the recovery of all estates that belong to the deceased as well as settle justifiable claims owed by the deceased person”, she added.
Mrs. Rotimi further explained that in situations where the deceased has property in other States and countries, the Office ensures the resealing of LA instead of obtaining a new LA in such places, stressing that the Office also ensures prompt payment of death benefits to civil/public servants who died in active service.
Outlining some achievements of the Agency, the AG&PT noted that the Office has so far handled about 10,000 cases, out of which 5,000 have been successfully completed.
According to her, “The public response to the services of the Office has been impressive because they are aware that the agency was empowered to manage the estates of deceased in the State”.
“Most of the people that request for our services are the less privileged and vulnerable who couldn’t afford the services of private lawyers. There are also cases of underaged who have written petitions to the Office for assistance and intervention in their matters. The Office has stepped in on several issues and given the required guidance to them”, she stated.
The Administrator-General revealed that the Office achieved a revenue generation performance of over 400% in 2021, moved from the Ministry of Justice building in Alausa to a larger and befitting office space to ensure enhanced service delivery to the residents of the State, managed and administered estates, and obtained LAs for beneficiaries to quickly access funds to either ensure the burial of their deceased persons or get them economically empowered.
While appreciating Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for enhancing the delivery of judicial services to all Lagos residents irrespective of status, class or creed through, the AG&PT averred that Y2022 would witness massive grassroots public awareness and sensitisation programmes by the Office.
She emphasised that the Office intends to sustain its collaboration with other agencies and institutions like the Probate Registry in the Lagos State High Court; Ministry of Youth and Social Development; Domestic and Sexual Violence Unit and the Police. It will also ensure that estates are properly managed to reflect market value and suitable for human habitation among others.