REDAN: money launderers block bill aimed at cleaning up real estate activities
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) has accused unnamed “big men” involved in money laundering and terrorist financing of blocking the bill aimed at cleaning up the sector in the country.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, REDAN Chairman Dr Aliyu Wammako noted that the rejection of the bill by an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives after it was passed by the Senate was suspicious .
The organization is the umbrella body for the organized real estate sector, both private and public, responsible for providing affordable housing to Nigerians.
While appreciating the efforts made so far by the ad hoc committee to find a lasting solution to the persistent land issues in Abuja and by extension across the country, Wammako however pointed out that some of the committee’s comments were contradictory.
The group acknowledged the committee on its comment that there is no clear regulatory legal framework for property developers, hence the proliferation of “incompetent, inefficient and fraudulent developers” with the tendency to mislead the public. .
REDAN, however, said he was surprised by the committee’s description of the bill as “unrealistic and should therefore be scrapped”, pointing out that the resolution was in stark contrast to previous observations that would be catastrophic for the real estate sector. .
“We are particularly very concerned about such a ‘hasty’ recommendation when indeed REDAN along with other well-meaning institutions like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) , the Special Money Laundering Control Unit (SCUML), scholars from many universities from international learning organizations, have made efforts to draft the bill,” he said.
Wammako noted that the objectives of the bill include, among others, to standardize property development activities in Nigeria by regulating the conduct of transactions in the property sector and to provide an enabling environment and transparency in property development activities. in Nigeria.
Further, the organization said the proposed Act will bring the property development business in Nigeria in line with international best practice and safeguard the ultimate interest of all stakeholders in the business.
Further, REDAN said the Bill will reduce fraudulent practices in property development in Nigeria and ensure its compliance with the National Building Code of Nigeria as well as the Prohibition of Money Laundering Act.
While emphasizing that the bill is in the general interest of professionals, practitioners and all those involved in the construction industry, the body noted the need to regulate the industry, as is made in other climates.
“We are not ignoring some proponents, who are seriously opposed to this bill and who have sworn to ensure that the bill does not pass the lower house.
“Can we say that the only known reason why these developers do not want this bill to pass is simply because they are probably the ones deeply involved in money laundering and terrorist financing.
“They are obviously economic saboteurs and they are out to tarnish Nigeria’s image. They work to perpetually smear Nigeria in the eyes of the world. If the business is regulated, law enforcement officers and regulators will catch up with them and not only will they be exposed, but their businesses will collapse.
“We say without regret that any developer seeking to abandon the bill in its entirety without making amendments, recommendations or contributions that might improve the bill is a perpetrator of money laundering and the spotlight of authorities are focused on these developers and their sponsors,” Wammako said.