The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday passed a bill establishing the Nigeria Real Estate Regulatory Council.
The decision of the upper legislative chamber aims, among other things, to combat fraudulent practices in the real estate sector and ensure its compliance with the National Building Code in Nigeria.
The bill, which is labeled ‘Nigeria Real Estate Regulatory Council (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and sponsored by Senator Aliyu Wamakko, was passed following consideration by a report by the Senate Committee on Establishment and Civil Service during the plenary session.
According to NAN, the report was presented by Senator Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP-Ondo) on behalf of the chairman of the committee, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau.
What the Chairman of the Senate Committee says
The senator, on behalf of the committee, said that the establishment of the Nigeria Real Estate Council is expected to enable efficient, efficient and transparent administration of real estate development activities in Nigeria.
He added that the board will be responsible for prescribing minimum standards for the conduct of real estate development businesses across the country.
He said, “The Council, once established, would, among other things, tackle fraudulent practices to ensure that real estate activity complies with the National Building Code in Nigeria.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had initially refused his assent to the bill to establish the council which had been adopted by the Eighth National Assembly due to some comments made by stakeholders at the time.
The senator said: “These observations have been taken into account in this report by the committee as a result of engagement with stakeholders to ensure that real estate activities in Nigeria comply with the 2011 Money Laundering Act (such as modified).“
What you should know
The newly adopted bill was read for the first time on April 28 and underwent a second reading on June 22.
The real estate sector has been fraught with challenges and has not been properly regulated in Nigeria, leaving the possibility for unscrupulous and corrupt developers to defraud homeowners who pay without receiving housing.
There had been several reported cases of homeowners who could not own the properties years after paying millions for those homes. Such practices are said to be common in Abuja and Lagos.
There is also the problem of the poor quality of the houses built by these developers and handed over to the owners.
It is hoped that the passage of the bill will help bring some form of reason to the industry and control the fraudulent and unfair practices of these developers.