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Senate passes bill to regulate real estate business in Nigeria

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The Nigerian Senate, on Wednesday, passed a bill for the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria.

The move by the upper legislative chamber is to among others help curb the fraudulent practices in the real estate business and ensure that it conforms with the National Building Code in Nigeria.

The bill, which is tagged, ‘Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and sponsored by Senator Aliyu Wamakko, was passed following the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service during plenary session.

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According to NAN, the report was presented by Senator Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP-Ondo) on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau.

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What the Chairman of the Senate Committee is saying

The senator on behalf of the committee said that the establishment of the Real Estate Council of Nigeria is expected to provide efficient, effective and transparent administration of the business of real estate development in Nigeria.

He added that the council will be responsible for prescribing minimum standards for the conduct of the businesses of real estate development across the country.

He said, “The Council when established, would among others, curb fraudulent practices to ensure that the real estate business conforms with the National Building Code in Nigeria.”

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had initially withheld his assent to the bill seeking to establish the council which was passed by the eighth National Assembly due to some certain observations raised by stakeholders at that time.

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The senator said, “Those observations have been taken care of in this report by the committee following the engagement with stakeholders to ensure that real estate business in Nigeria conforms with the Money Laundering Act 2011 (as amended).

What you should know

The bill that was just passed was read for the first time on April 28 and scaled a second reading on June 22.

The real estate sector has been bedevilled with challenges and has not been adequately regulated in Nigeria, thereby creating room for unscrupulous and corrupt developers to defraud home owners who pay without being given houses.

There had been several reported cases of homeowners who could not gain ownership of the properties years after paying millions for these houses. Such practices have been reported to be common in Abuja and Lagos.

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There is also the problem of the low quality of house being built by these developers and given to the owners.

It is hoped that the passage of the bill will help bring some form of sanity to the sector and check the fraudulent and unfair practices of these developers.

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