Apart from sanitising the housing sector, the Real Estate Regulatory Council Bill when assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, will help reverse the negative trend in the country, Executive Director, Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), Mr Festus Adebayo, has said.
The affordable housing advocacy stated this through its executive director while commenting on the recent passage of the bill by the National Assembly.
Adebayo said the bill would ensure compliance with the best practices as obtainable in developed countries.
He said ‘’ We also want to commend the Senate President and the entire members of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for coming together to ensure that the bill sailed through on the floor of the Senate.
Supporting the claims that the bill, when passed into law will help reverse the negative trend in the country, Adebayo said it would guard against fraudulent practices by all-comers in the sector.
“We are in a situation where nobody is protecting anybody, not even the subscribers are protected,” he said, decrying the abuse which pervaded the sector for long where rules are constantly bent.
The executive director expressed confidence in the ability of President Muhammadu Buhari to give a speedy assent to the bill with a view to promoting sanity in the sector through relevant regulatory frameworks.
He stated that his body had gone through the bill and currently “working assiduously in collaboration with Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and other professional bodies that are involved, including government agencies, like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that the sector is safe and protected for investment.
Going down the memory lane, Adebayo disclosed that the bill was presented at the National Assembly two years ago under Reverend Ugochukwu Chime, former President of REDAN.
“So we are very pleased that the present REDAN’s leadership has made the bill their priority,” he said.
According to him, all professional bodies in Nigeria’s construction industries are allocated responsibilities in the bill, adding that the bill is not aimed at taking any one’s job.
“This is one thing that Professor Akin Mabogunje who had just celebrated his 90 years birthday fought for several years ago, for the sector to be regulated. I am sure that he will be happy that at last the real estate sector is going to be professionalised and regulated at last,” he said
Adebayo recalled that the bill in question is not a strange development, noting that Lagos State happened to be the first state in the country to regulate the real estate sector.
“There is today an agency that regulates the flow of transactions and activities in Lagos real estate sector. But we are asking for the improvement of Lagos› version at the national level that will have the involvement of all the professionals in the construction industry.
“It has been done in Ghana, Kenya and India. Most advanced countries have their regulatory bodies for the real estate and housing business,” he said.