By G9ija

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered N53 billion from a real estate developer for the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, the Chairman of ICPC, disclosed this during a meeting with the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee Investigating the Operations of Real Estate Developers in FCT.

The ICPC boss said that the developer took the money without providing houses for its subscribers.

Owasanoye stressed that the Commission would always deploy its mandates 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.

The ICPC chairman noted that unscrupulous real estate developers in the FCT took advantage of desperate civil servants to scam them of their hard-earned money in the name of housing projects.

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.

Owasanoye told the committee that one of the ways to tackle housing deficit and fraudulent real estate developers in the country was for government to completely deploy technology as well as grant easy access to information.

“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”.

Earlier, Rep. Blessing Onoh, the Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee, observed that cases of developers defrauding would-be house owners was becoming rampant.

He maintained that it was common for real estate developers to start projects, later abandon them and move on to other cites after collecting monies from subscribers.

Onoh said that the committee was set up to proffer solutions to the anomalies and ensure that Nigerians who subscribed to housing projects end up owning them in accordance with the terms of agreement they entered.