Mr Festus Adebayo,a leading Housing activist and owners of Housing Programme on AIT, NTA and Channels Television, has called for collaboration between Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN).
Adebayo, who made the call during interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja on Wednesday, said such collaboration would stop fake and corrupt practices in the housing sector.
Adebayo said the best way to tackle fraudulent practices of many developers in the housing sector is to have a synergy between anti-corruption agencies and estate developers’ association.
“With the anti-corruption war of the present government, the estate developers ought to be very careful. There is need for REDAN to find a way to regulate the activities of estate developers like other professional bodies.
“If REDAN can be well-organised and take the bull by the horns,corruption in estate development will be stopped or be brought to a minimal level.
“I am aware that the EFCC has been relating with REDAN on this subject matter’’, he said.
He called on EFCC to increase its relationship with the association to track down estate developers who are into selling of fake houses and land.
“The EFCC should collaborate with the association to eliminate the developers who are going around with fliers, luring people to buy houses or land that does not exist,or without approved titles.
“The case of an estate developer collaborating with organized labour to defraud workers is still fresh in our memory.
“We call it fraud because fliers were out but no land to point to’’, Adebayo said.
Adebayo also called on the Federal Government to ensure adequate implementation of the National Housing Policy to forestall challenges being faced in the housing sector.
He urged the government to tackle issue of low income earners especially the civil servants and assist them to become home owners.
“It is high time that Nigerian government picked much interest in housing the citizens.
“All over the world, housing is regarded as a tool for economic development.
“A situation whereby the government cannot invest a little percentage of its budget in housing its citizenry is no more acceptable’’, he said.
He said those who produced the national housing policy did a very good job but the only major problem about the policy is its implementation.
“Most of our policies are very good on paper but when it comes to implementation, our people do not have the will or the government does not have the political will to implement them’’, he said.
Adebayo decried the situation where many houses,especially in the Federal Capital Territory, remained vacant. He urged the FCT administration to use the recently passed property pass law to impose tax on this unoccupied houses.
This no doubt will create the supply of housing stock in FCT.
“Those that cannot carry stolen money to the bank have now resorted to using such to buy luxury homes.’’
Adebayo then urged President Muhammadu Buhari to invest part of the recovered loot from politicians into Housing, and with that huge fund, we can be rest assured that the interest rates from commercial banks will likely come down.
He also use the opportunity to thank the management of Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria,Federal Ministry of Housing, FCT Administration, Dangote Cement, Chicason Group, Nigerite, Goodhomes Development Company and REDAN for the usual partnership in promoting affordable housing in Nigeria.