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Real Estate: Reps Says FCT Loses N800 Billion Revenue Annually

The House of Representatives has said that Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is losing about N800 billion annual revenue in the real estate sector.

The chairman, House Ad-hoc Committee investigating the operations of Real Estate Developers in the FCT, Blessing Onuh, disclosed this at the opening of a two-day workshop on the operations of real estate developers in the FCT, on Monday, in Abuja.

Onuh, who stated this was part of the discovery of the panel, noted that the lawmakers, in the course of their assignment discovered that the level of impunity by developers is alarming.

“Take, for example, a house or land is sold for N500 million, the lawyer gets his legal fees, 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.

Real estate, FCT,  government
AIHS 2022

“And this kind of transactions go on in volumes every day unregulated, leaving the government with the perennial struggles of meeting up its responsibility of providing decent welfare for its staff and providing modern amenities to its people. Many of these transactions are done in cash making the industry a safe haven for money laundering and illicit financial flows,” she stated.

According to her, the panel also discovered that there are several estates in the FCT that have been completed and occupied do not have building approvals and proper titles.

“We noticed some estates developed on green areas and lands reserved for public institutions like schools. Some developers invade plots without documents demarcate and sell to unsuspecting members of the public and display a high sense of impunity emboldened by the belief that they are friends of the authority and nothing can happen to them,” Onuh said.

Furthermore, the lawmaker noted that there are ” hundreds of petitions submitted to this committee by teeming members of the public who have been shortchanged by dubious developers operating freely in the industry.

“A pathetic case is the case of the petroleum and natural gas senior staff association of Nigeria which paid over N4.2 billion to a developer since 2019 and is yet to get even one house delivered to its staff. And thousands of similar cases.”

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