• Monday, April 22, 2024
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Ministry, EFCC plan detection, monitoring platform to tackle housing fraud

Ministry, EFCC plan detection, monitoring platform to tackle housing fraud

The minister of housing and urban development, Ahmed Dangiwa, says the ministry is collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to set up a housing fraud detection and monitoring platform that will enable them to tackle sharp practices in the sector.

The minister, who spoke at the commissioning of De Mayor’s Estate and the flag-off of Project Broadfield in Abuja, explained that the planned platform will enable Nigerians nationwide to report incidences of housing fraud by developers.

“The primary goal of the platform is to monitor and detect instances of housing fraud perpetrated by dubious developers and ensure accountability in the sector. We aim to protect the rights and investments of Nigerians by creating a transparent and accountable system. Using the platform, we will empower Nigerians with a transparent tool to report dubious developers and work in collaboration with EFCC to investigate reported cases of housing fraud,” the minister said.

He assured that the platform will provide a user-friendly online interface for Nigerians to report incidents of housing fraud, adding that users can submit complaints, provide evidence, and share relevant information about fraudulent practices anonymously or with their identity disclosed, depending on their preference.

“The online platform will collect, analyze, and categorize reported cases of housing fraud. It will gather information such as location, developer details, type of fraud, and evidence provided by victims of housing fraud. This data will help identify patterns, trends, and hotspots of fraudulent activities in the real estate sector,” the minister said.

“It will operate within the existing legal framework governing the real estate sector. It will support legal actions against fraudulent developers by providing evidence and support to law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies,” he added.

The minister emphasized that by implementing the platform, the ministry aims to curtail housing fraud, ensure there are legal consequences for fraudulent developers, promote transparency, and safeguard the interests of Nigerians in the real estate market.

He, therefore, advised real estate developers who engage in the construction of substandard projects and other fraudulent practices to desist from such behaviour or face the wrath of the law. He stressed his ministry’s resolve to ensure that developers construct houses in line with laid-down laws and regulations and prevent fraudulent practices in the sector.

Dangiwa also cautioned against the use of substandard building materials and unethical practices, saying that those who failed to build within stipulated guidelines would be prosecuted while there will ber punishment for those that collect money from unsuspecting Nigerians only to turn around and deliver substandard projects.

“The days of cutting corners are over; I want to warn all developers and also advise them to see this as the final warning that they will get. The days of cutting corners in the housing sector are over. If you think you can defraud Nigerians of their hard-earned money and get away with it in this present time, you are mistaken,” Dangiwa said.

For those who collect money from beneficiaries and, at the end of the day, fail to deliver and dupe ordinary Nigerians who simply want a decent place to call home, the minister said, the law will soon catch up with them, advising them to stop doing it because the days are over for such practices.

He noted that Nigerians have been victims of unscrupulous elements in the built environment for too long, stressing that such practices amount to financial crimes.

According to him, “when you go into a contract with a subscriber to build XYZ with certain features and, at the end of the day, you renege on that agreement, that amounts to a breach of contract. Such practices, he said, are the reasons his ministry is collaborating with the EFCC to go after such developers, ensure accountability in the sector, and protect the rights and investments of Nigerians.