Concerned Nigerians in real estate sector have raised the alarm that the industry is taking so much toll in the country as a result of poor supervision and requisite punishment for those who default in the implementation of rules guiding the industry.
According to Mr. Kabir Matungo, an estate developer based in Jos, Plateau State, a loss of N600 billion that does not include loss of lives is unacceptable to the Nigerian populace. “We cannot continue to lose lives and property in situations that are highly avoidable. It all means that government is not doing enough to safeguard the lives and property of its citizens.
“If we calculate lives lost through terrorist attacks, lives lost through accidental discharges, lives lost through overzealous Officers of the Nigeria Police and other forces not to include those that died in the hands of ritualists,”he said.
Recently, the Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee constituted to investigate operations of the real estate developers in the Federal Capital, Abuja, Mrs. Blessing Onyeche Onu, has reported that the city has been losing an estimated huge sum of N600 billion annually in revenue accruable to it from the real estate sector.
At a two-day workshop organised by the Federal House of Representative Investigative Ad-hoc Committee on Mass Housing/Real Estate Development in the FCT held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, Onuh said the workshop is to discuss the economy of the real estate industry.
According to her, “we shall clearly articulate the value chain in this multi-trillion naira industry and identify why the FCT has not been getting its fair share. This committee’s preliminary findings indicated that the FCT has been losing an estimated N600 billion annually in revenues accruable to it from the real estate sector.
“Take for example a house or land is sold for N500 million, the lawyer gets his legal fee, the agent gets his brokerage fee, the bank gets its transaction charges and the government gets nothing if the transaction is not presented for registration.
“And this kind of transactions go on in volumes every day unregulated, leaving government with the perennial struggles of meeting up its responsibility of providing modern amenities for its people. Many of these transactions are done in cash making the industry a safe haven for money laundry and illicit financial flows. The time to change the narratives is now”, she buttressed.
She added that, shelter or housing is the next most important need of man next to food. And the alarming housing shortage in the FCT and expected role of the Mass housing sub-sector to address the problem is key.
While reacting, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, vowed to ruthlessly deal with fraudulent developers in the nation’s capital. Bello added that, the administration will have no option than to work together under the right laws and regulations to reveal the act.