By Henry Umoru, ABUJA
THE Senate has passed a bill to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria.
The passed bill would help curb fraudulent practices to ensure that the real estate business confirms with the National Building Code in Nigeria; as well as create an innovative and sustainable environment to promote Nigeria as a real estate investment destination in Africa and the world.
The Council when established would, amongst others, curb fraudulent practices to ensure that the real estate business confirms with the National Building Code in Nigeria.
The bill sponsored by Senator Aliyu Wamakko was read for the first time on April 28, 2021, and a scaled second reading on June 22, 2021.
The bill is tagged: The Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2021.
The passage of the bill yesterday during the plenary presided over by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta Central, was sequel to the consideration of a report by the Committee on Establishment and Public Service.
The report was laid during the plenary by the Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, APC, Niger North, but Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ondo South presented the report. The Senate resolved into the Committee of the Whole to consider the report, just as it then reverted to Plenary to report progress.
The Senate in the Committee of the Whole considered and approved Clauses as amended, Interpretation as recommended, Explanatory Memorandum as recommended, Short and Long Titles as recommended.
Earlier, Senator Tofowomo, who presented the report on behalf of the Committee Chairman, Ibrahim Shekarau, said that the establishment of the Real Estate Council of Nigeria would provide efficient, effective and transparent administration of the business of real estate development in Nigeria.
According to him, the Council would be responsible for prescribing minimum standards for the conduct of the businesses of real estate development across the country.
Senator Tofowomo recalled that the bill seeking to establish the Real Estate Council of Nigeria was passed by both chambers of the eighth National Assembly, but was not assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the President’s decision to withhold assent to the bill was as a result of certain observations raised by stakeholders at the time, adding, “Those observations have been taken care of in this report by the Committee following the engagement with stakeholders to ensure that real estate business in Nigeria confirms with the Money Laundering Act 2011 (as amended) and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit Act 2018 in terms of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing due diligence compliance”, Tofowomo said.
He explained that when established, the Council would standardize the business of real estate by regulating the conduct of transactions; and provide enabling environment and transparency in the business of real estate development in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, two bills seeking to establish the Federal Orthopedic Hospital, Patigi, Kwara State; and Federal University of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State, have passed second reading in the Senate.
The bills were sponsored by Senators Sadiq Suleiman Umar (Kwara North) and Patrick Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central).
The bills after scaling the second reading were referred by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege to the Committees on Health (Secondary and Tertiary); and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further inputs.
Both Committees were given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.