The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) has said that drug barons and money launderers only use the real estate sector as a cover-up.
Specifically, the chapter chairman, Osilama Emmanuel Osilama, said this in Abuja at the weekend, during the inauguration of a 10-member disciplinary committee set up to sanitise the sector.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa, last week, said the Commission was vigorously going after some stakeholders of the real estate sector in Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt, as 90 to 100 per cent of stolen public funds are invested in the sector.
However, Osilama said: “Some of these criminals are drug barons and also money launderers who use the sector as a cover-up. As a result of this, they cannot come up to be registered with REDAN because they know they will be noticed easily, exposed and be apprehended and most times they operate those real estate companies by proxy.”
He noted that the committee was to sanitise the sector through professional intervention by arbitration before considering anti-graft agencies.
“This committee was inaugurated so that the genuine real estate developers can focus and do business in a way and manner that the government will be proud of them. Real estate is our business and we can’t watch fraudsters take the centre stage.
“We want to do our business in a way that government will not say we are aiding and abetting criminals with our businesses,” he added.