Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has ppealed to the House of Representatives to insist on the enforcement of regulations by relevant authorities as a way of checking sharp practices and money laundering by operators in the real estate sector.
He made the appeal when he received members of the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee Investigating Real Estate Developers led by the Chairman, Honourable Blessing Onyeche Onuh, at the headquarters of the Commission in Jabi, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said: “Real estate is the highest avenue through which corrupt Nigerians launder proceeds of crime. When I heard of your committee, I thought this was an opportunity to work with the representatives of the people, to discuss how we can deal with this issue.”
The EFCC boss told the Committee that the major challenge in the real estate sector was the poor enforcement of regulations by the relevant authorities and urged them to prevail on those charged with the responsibilities of regulating the sector, especially in the Federal Capital Territory, to do their jobs.
He assured that the Commission was determined to fight financial crimes in the sector which is the reason it has restructured the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) to enhance its performance. He however pointed out that there are gaps hindering the effective performance of the agency and urged the lawmakers to intervene.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Blessing Onyeche Onuh, said the committee was at the EFCC to seek the agency’s help in achieving its mandate.
“Mr. Chairman, we actually know the role the EFCC plays in checkmating corruption in the society, and we recognize that the Commission has value to add through the activities of this committee, hence we seek to partner with you.
“We have come to you to share our mandate and for you to guide us on the way forward in this regard,” she said.
She explained that the Committee was set up by the leadership of the House of Representatives with the mandate of investigating allegations of misconduct by developers as well as working with the relevant ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, in formulating policies and laws to check financial crimes in the sector.