Nigeria has spent decades and billions of naira grappling with fraud and all kinds of malpractice. Sadly, the real estate sector is not an exception. Not only are practitioners in the sector continually inundated with complaints of unethical practices in the real estate space, but there have also been cases of outright criminality perpetrated by rogue elements in the guise of being property developers and real estate agents.
Speaking exclusively to Housing Development Television, President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, REDAN, Dr. Aliyu Wamakko, acknowledged the problem and the herculean task of addressing it. He said “We have observed this and have made tremendous efforts to see that we flush out the bad eggs in the industry.” REDAN, he noted, is a self-regulating association committed to ensuring sanity in the real estate sector.
On efforts made to check these unscrupulous entities and their activities, Dr. Wamakko said REDAN, under his leadership, has advanced a bill to the National Assembly in light of this challenge. In his words: “When I came into office, I initiated a REDAN Bill, which I presented to the ninth Senate, and it was passed. It is now in the House of Representatives for concurrence.” He, however, stated that some unscrupulous elements go all out to thwart efforts being made even at the parliamentary level in this regard.
The REDAN President also said that members of the public, particularly those who seek property to rent or purchase, have a responsibility to carry out due diligence, adding “I have made it clear to everybody who is willing to do any business with a real estate developer. They should make a background check with REDAN.”
Dr. Wamakko used the medium to call on government to prioritise affordable housing and ensure a policy shift in the housing sector. “I think there should be a policy shift in the aspect of provision of affordable houses to Nigerians. We have been calling on the federal government to recapitalize the Federal Mortgage Bank. We are looking at a government to make a policy to shift from the present policy of providing affordable houses to Nigerians, because we saw what has happened within this [Buhari-led] government. Fashola was able to build three thousand seven hundred [housing] units, which are not yet even completed.” He said prices of the houses have caused crisis in the market and, therefore, sued for a review in policy.
By: Uyi Agbomofuegbe