ABUJA – The Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee created to Investigate Operations of Real Estate Developers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon. Blessing Onyeche Onuh has hinted that FCT has been losing an estimated N600 billion annually in revenues accruable to it from the real estate sector.
It was a piece of flattering news as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello vowed to ruthlessly deal with fraudulent developers in the nation’s capital.
Onuh gave this hint at a two-day workshop organized by the Federal House of Representative Investigate Ad-hoc Committee on Mass Housing /Real Estate Development in the FCT held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja earlier in week in Abuja.
According to her, “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 N500,000,000.00, 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 these kinds of transactions going on in volumes every day unregulated, leaving the 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 laundering and illicit financial flows. The time to change the narratives is now”, she buttressed.
Onuh further stated that “ Minister sir, you are entrusted with enormous powers by the constitution to enforce the provisions of the law establishing the federal capital territory for the common good of all Nigerians living or visiting the FCT.
“We as lawmakers and representatives of the Nigerian people shall never relent in giving you the needed support to carry out your constitutional duties. Posterity shall hold us all to judgment if we all abuse this trust either by our actions or inactions. “The process to check nefarious activities of many developers must begin today.
We enjoin you to demonstrate the political will most be needed at this critical moment in the development of The Federal Capital City. We are certainly seating on a ticking time bomb and history shall record that at this time we had the opportunity to restore the confidence of the Nigerian people in our ability to preserve their commonwealth and we did it for our people to the glory of the almighty creator”.
She added that Shelter or Housing as we know is the next most important need of men next to food. And the alarming housing shortage in the FCT and the expected role of the Mass housing sub-sector to address the problem is key.
The FCT is blessed with a large landmass and has been magnanimous with its policies to encourage mass housing development in the territory as its fair contribution to reducing the national housing deficit, this is demonstrated in the mass housing policy of the FCT. But the majority of players in the housing development sector have not reciprocated this magnanimity thereby creating a weak housing sector that is clearly inimical to the land value chain; from value for money for the subscribers or off-takers to a sustainable revenue base for the government. This workshop seeks to bring to the fore the objectives of this committee which are primarily.
More so, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello vowed to ruthlessly dealt with fraudulent developers in the nation’s capital.
Bello added that the administration will have no option but to work together under the right laws and regulations to reveal the act.
According to him, “I personally will ensure that we work together under the leadership of the AD-HOC Committee with strong enforcement of the law and regulations as was earlier indicated by the chairman of the AD-HOC Committee.
“ In spite of the few challenges, I maintain that the public-private partnership still remains the only option available to us in meeting houses challenges that is why as we look into the future, we have to commend the land for infrastructure in one of our districts that is the Gwagwa district and subsequently, others will also come up with very strict regulations that protect the Estate investors, protect the government, and protect the on takers as well as those financing the projects along with the entire value change, taking time to go through the various strategies of the housing development of the FCTA, within the last few years, the theme of this workshop is very apt and that of course in the journey so far, the pitfalls have been discovered, I am personally convinced that getting the right synergy in the outcome of this report we will get it right in just a few time and of course, hard work.
“The outcome will further strengthen and help us in our quest in the development of FCT and make it more responsive to the needs of the people that is why all the relevant heads of departments and agencies that are within the housing constipation agencies are all here.
“A fast-growing city of Abuja, and its ever-increasing human population there will always be a need to meet the shelter needs of all the categories of people who have chosen to recede here, over the years, various changes, strategies were involved to meet the right basic accommodation needs of the residents of the FCT, starting of course with the government on the first set of accommodation of civil servants in Garki Area One, and a part in Gwagwalad and Suleja.
These were eventually sold off to civil servants' occupants and that is the sale of government houses, thus giving many Nigerians the opportunity to own their own houses in the nation’s capital city.