Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, has reiterated the commission’s resolve to work with the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) in sanitising the real estate sector.
He said this when the President of REDAN, Dr Aliyu Oroji Wammako, paid him a courtesy visit at the Commission’s headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.
Bawa also promised that the EFCC would support REDAN in ensuring that the proposed Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill is passed to help in sanitising the sector.He added, “I want to assure you that we are going to support you, we are going to talk to all the people that need to be spoken to, after we have reviewed the law itself to see whether there are one or two things that we need to add, that will help you in strengthening the provisions before it is transmitted to the President for assent,” he said.
The EFCC boss, however, bemoaned the rate of corruption in the sector, urging REDAN and all Nigerians to report acts of corruption in the real estate sector.
“To us, from the beginning, we made our position very clear that real estate in Nigeria has turned into an avenue in which corrupt public and private sector practitioners are laundering their proceeds of crime with ease.
“In fact, it is the highest avenue in which proceeds of crime are laundered second only to the financial institutions, particularly the banking sector. It is a sector that we urge all Nigerians to watch out for, and relay to us information regarding anybody that they know has acquired real estate fraudulently.
“We hope and pray that you strengthen yourself and ensure that the bad eggs that are in the sector are weeded out. There is no day that passes that the EFCC is not tracing one proceeds of crime or another into real estate.
“We have spoken to the Governors Forum to ensure that they have a very robust land administration regime in their various states, all in the hope that we are going to have better statistics and a better approach in the way that real estate and land administration is being managed.”
In his remarks, the President of REDAN, Alhaji Aliyu Oroji Wammako, stated that the purpose of the visit was to partner and collaborate with the EFCC in sanitising the business of real estate in Nigeria.
“We believe that with your organization partnering and lending your voice to the need for Nigeria to have a law that regulates the sector, robust and increased housing developments will be achieved,” he said,
Wammako further stated that working in collaboration with the EFCC would increase the contribution of the sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products and standardise the business of real estate development in Nigeria by regulating transactions in the sector.