By Maduka Nweke

Stakeholders in the real estate industry have reason to weigh in on why they want the industry regulated. Most institutional players agree that once the sector is regulated, the avalanche of charlatans who not only take office but also cause obstructions leading to the collapse of buildings will be subdued.

One of the stakeholders, Mr. Ndubuisi Onyibor, an Abuja-based property developer, said, “I feel happy when the news broke that the National Assembly has floundered in developing policies for the sector. The action, if implemented, will help quell the excesses of those charlatans who have refused to identify with the relevant institutional associations to have their jobs regulated. I just hope the bill is not spoiled before it passes,” he noted.

Recently, concerned about the various irregularities in the sector, leading practitioners under the auspices of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) along with other institutions and scholars drafted the Property Development Bill two years ago. real estate (regulation and development) and presented it to the National Assembly – Senate and to the House of Representatives in July 2020.

As the 9th Senate of the National Assembly of Nigeria recently passed the Bill and sent it to the House of Representatives for passage and read on the floor of the House, the news coming from the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives tasked with investigating the operations of Real Estate developers in the federal capital are no longer plausible for real estate developers.

In a press release published at the end of its workshop, the Ad-Hoc Committee declared: “The REDAN bill is unrealistic and therefore to be abandoned” while it notes that there is no clear regulatory legal framework for property developers, resulting in the proliferation of incompetent, inefficient and fraudulent developers with a tendency to mislead the public. They also observed that FCT was losing so much revenue due to non-compliance with property regulations and enforcement of land administration laws.

In a bid to express their displeasure, REDAN and the Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), in a snap, attacked the ad hoc committees, describing its resolution on the bill “as a clear contradiction to its observations “, claiming that this would be catastrophic for the real estate sector.

REDAN is the apex body of the organized real estate sector (private and public) duly recognized by the Federal Government and responsible for providing affordable housing to Nigerians. The organization was established in 2002.

REDAN Chairman Aliyu Wammako and HDAN Executive Director Mr. Festus Adebayo disagreed with the House of Representatives ad hoc committee resolution. They argued that the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, if passed, would crack down on various fraudulent activities and unprofessional practices in the sector.

According to the Executive Director of HDAN, NASS needs to pass the real estate bill now, explaining why the law is so important. Adebayo argued that such a bill is very important for the sector if the country wants to curb colossal fraud in the sector.

Rather than seeing the bill destroy the industry as the House committee posits in its resolution, Adebayo said it would act as a stimulus for investors and subscribers.

He therefore urged lawmakers to rethink and push for the passage of the bill. “Following the resolution of the ad hoc committee established by the House of Representatives to investigate the operations of FCT real estate developers, the committee’s decision which was conveyed in a statement signed by the chairman of the committee of inquiry, l Hon Blessings Onuh, we at the Housing Development Advocacy Network strongly disagree with the resolution which says that passing the Housing Bill will put the sector at risk.

“It is worth recalling that the Senate in November 2021 passed a bill aimed at combating fraudulent practices, ensuring that the real estate sector complies with the national building code in Nigeria and creating an innovative and sustainable environment to promote Nigeria as a true real estate investment destination in Africa and globally. The bill was sponsored by Senator Aliyu Wamako of Sokoto State,” he said.