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Real estate regulatory law seen increasing investor-confidence in sector

Real estate regulatory law seen increasing investor-confidence in sector

The promoters of the real estate bill currently on the floor of the Senate say the bill, when passed into law, would increase investors’ confidence and so would attract more domestic and foreign investment into the sector. The law, they explained at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Housing at the National Assembly recently, was not aimed to devalue the law of the regulatory bodies but to incorporate all the various regulations in one document.

Barabbas Gemade, Chairman of the committee, noted that professionalism in the sector had been bedevilled by fake and non-registered individuals, adding that laws must be made to ensure transparency. Real esateSenate President, Bukola Saraki, represented by the Minority Whip of the Senate, Philip Aduda, assured that the bill, when passed into law, would ensure proper regulation and development in real estate in Nigeria.  “The bill will enable organisations to function within the limits of the law; a better regulated real estate sector will increase the confidence of investors both within and outside the country”, he said.

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But some of the professional bodies at the public hearing had differing views on the bill. They argued that all the professional bodies in the real estate sector already have their regulatory bodies such as 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), etc.

Representatives of ESVARBON noted that a new law was not needed. Olayinka Oshinaike, chairman of the estate surveying and valuation regulatory body, explained that the bill had not taken into cognisance the roles of the estate surveyors and valuers.

Bolarinwa Patunola- Ajayi, President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), affirmed and appealed to the Senate Committee to collaborate with them in enforcing the existing regulations. Oshinaike said ESVARBON was canvassing a position that takes into consideration all professionals and noted the need to analyze all regulations and come up with one regulation.

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The Registrar, QSRBN, Godson Moneke, disclosed that the body, Architects and Town Planners were not in favour of a new bill. “All professionals were already being regulated by their regulatory bodies and so, there is no need for another agency when all the existing agencies are poorly funded. What this sector needs are enabling legislations. Germade acknowledged their contribution but asked how the professionals would deal with quacks if there was no need for the law.

Ugochukwu Chime, the President of REDAN, disagreed with his fellow professionals, saying his association supported the bill and deemed it appropriate. He explained that the sector’s challenges were due to lack of a roadmap that guides activities in the sector. He noted that the bill would enhance collaboration among the organizations.

“The bill will create a one-stop-shop that will reduce the current bureaucracy”, he hoped, adding that the reason the big players were not getting involved in activities in the sector was because of lack of a structured legal framework that protects their interests.