Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) has called on the House of Representatives to stand against money laundering and support the sanitization of the real estate business in Nigeria by concurring to the passage of the Real Estate Bill, as it will serve the interest of the masses, increase investment in the sector and promote housing development not only in the FCT but the entire country.
President of the Association, Aliyu Wamakko made this call during a press conference held in Abuja while clearing the air on the issue that REDAN Bill is unrealistic and therefore should be jettisoned as resolved by the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee Investigating the operations of Real Estate Developers in the Federal Capital Territory.
Wamakko expressed concern over the hasty recommendation of the Ad-hoc committee stating that REDAN as well as other well-meaning institutions like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), Scholars from many Universities of learning, International bodies and others have put in efforts in drafting the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, which was presented to the 9th National Assembly – Senate and the House of Representatives in July 2020.
He said if the business is regulated, the law enforcement agents and regulators will catch-up with some developers who are seriously averse to this Bill and have vowed to ensure that the Bill does not pass at the Lower House adding that such developers are obviously economic saboteurs working to perpetually stain Nigeria in the eyes of the world and they will not only be exposed but their businesses will crumble.
Executive Director, Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), Festus Adebayo said when the bill is passed, it will help sanitize the housing sector in the country and ensure compliance with the best practices as obtainable in developed countries. He said the bill is urgently needed to not only curb the issues of building collapse but also end quackery in Nigeria’s housing sector.
Wamakko highlighted some of the objectives of the bill to include standardize the business of real estate development in Nigeria by regulating the conduct of transactions in the real estate sector; provide enabling environment and transparency in the business of real estate development in Nigeria; make the business of real estate development in Nigeria conform to international best practices and safeguard the ultimate interest of all stakeholders in the business; curb fraudulent practices in the business of real estate development in Nigeria; ensure that the real estate business conforms with the National Building Code in Nigeria; create an innovative and sustainable environment to promote Nigeria as a real estate investment destination in Africa and the world, and ensure that the real estate business in Nigeria conforms with the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and NFIU Act 2018 in terms of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing due diligence compliance.
Recall that the 9th Senate of Nigeria’s National Assembly on Wednesday November 17, 2021 passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill and a week later, the Senate President sent the Bill to the House of Representatives for Concurrence which was read on the floor of the House of Representative on December 2, 2021.
According to the REDAN President, Nigerians will greatly benefit from the passage of this Bill as it will ensure value for money for home-seekers, quality of buildings, instil professionalism and mitigate issues of collapsed buildings in the nation for the overall interest of professionals, practitioners and all players in the Built Industry.
He added that the Real Estate Bill is aimed at ensuring compliance with all extant laws, National Building Code, financial regulations, and adherence to standards by Developers.