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The Senate Committee on Housing met with Real Estate Stakeholders earlier today at the National Assembly for the public hearing on the proposed bill for the regulation and development of real estate.

The bill which was sponsored by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi is expected to control practices and ensure development in the real estate sector.

Speaking at the hearing, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki represented by the Minority Whip of the Senate, Senator Philip Aduda, in his opening speech noted that the bill will ensure proper regulation and development in Real Estate in Nigeria.

He stated that the bill will enable organisations to function within the limits of the law. He added that a better regulated real estate sector will increase confidence of investors both within and outside the country.

Presiding over the hearing, the Committee Chairman, Senator  Barnabas Germade, mentioned that the purpose of the law is not to devalue the law of the regulatory bodies but to incorporate all the various regulations in one document.  He noted that professionalism has been bedeviled by fake and non registered individuals. He added that laws must be made to ensure transparency.

The Chairman recognised the various regulators and professionals which included the Estate Surveyors and Valuers registration board of Nigeria ESVARBON, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria QSRBN, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria REDAN, Nigerian Society of Engineers NSE and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria CORBON.

The Chairman urged the Stakeholders to make submissions with clarity of thought so as to have a complete law after scrutiny of the bill.  Representatives from the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria noted that a new law is not needed. The Chairman, ESVARBON, Olayinka Oshinaike explained that the bill had not taken into cognisance the roles of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers. Giving voice to the Chairman’s  statement, the President, NIESV, Dr Ajayi Patunola appealed to the Senate Committee to collaborate with them in enforcing the existing regulations.

Olayinka Oshinaike clarified that ESVARBON is canvassing a position that takes into consideration all professionals and noted the need to analyze all regulations and come up with one regulation.

The Registrar, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria, Godson Moneke speaking at the hearing also disclosed that the QSRBN, Architects and Town Planners were not in favour of a new bill.

The Registrar stated that all professionals were already being regulated by their regulatory bodies. He added that there was no need for another agency when all the existing agencies are poorly funded. He explains that the sector needs enabling legislations.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Barnabas Germade acknowledged their contribution and posed a question asking; “If there is no need for the law how do you deal with the quacks?”.

In his own reaction, the President of REDAN, Surveyor Ugochukwu Chime expressed that the association supports the bill and deems it as appropriate. He explained that the sectors challenge had been the lack of a roadmap that guides activities in the sector. He noted that the bill will enhance collaboration among the organizations. According to him, “the bill will create a one stop shop that will reduce the current bureaucracy”.

He added that the reason the big players were not getting involved is as a result of lack of a structured legal frame work that protects their interests.

It is on record, that out of 11 professional bodies invited only 6 participated in the public hearing while others had sent in their submissions to the bill.

– Miraculous Nwaka

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