The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has announced the recovery of a whopping N53 billion from a real estate developer.
A statement by the Commission’s spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, said the huge cash belongs to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). She quoted the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, as making the disclosure at a meeting with the House of Representatives’ Adhoc Committee Investigating the Operations of Real Estate Developers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The developer was said to have taken the money without providing houses for unsuspecting subscribers. Owasanoye vowed the anti-graft agency’s readiness to deploy its mandate against developers who took public funds with the promise to provide houses for public or civil servants without doing so.
He also lamented the rising housing deficit in the country, noting that unscrupulous real estate developers in the Federal Capital Territory took advantage of desperate civil servants to scam them of their hardearned money in the name of housing projects.
This was as he said that the Commission was desirous of partnering with the ad-hoc committee to bring sanity to the housing sector because of its critical nature to the government.
He told the committee that one of the ways to tackle the housing deficit and fraudulent real estate developers in the country was for the government to completely deploy technology as well as grant easy access to information.
He said, “The lack of openness is also creating problems. Government should, at least, put information in the public domain where people can easily verify details of land. A lot of people are scammed from fake layout, double allocations and others.”