The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has expressed its readiness to support the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure the real estate sector is not used for money laundering.
It also urged the anti-graft agency to investigate the owners of numerous vacant properties in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other parts of the country, to unravel how they came about the money expended.
Briefing journalists on the 51st conference of the institution, which opened in Abuja, NIESV President, Chief Emmanuel Okas Wike, said instead of focusing on professionals in the real estate industry, the EFCC should beam its searchlight on non-professionals involved in real estate transactions.
The theme of the conference is ‘Unlocking Real Estate Potentials for Economic Development.’ Wike said it would be very difficult for any estate surveyor and valuer that knows the worth of his seal and stamp to get involved in unethical practice, knowing that the seal and stamp will be withdrawn by the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board (ESVARBON).
“There is no estate surveyor and valuer that will take the risk of selling a property for N100 million and then go and collect cash payment. Do not look at estate surveyors as people who are aiding money laundering into the real estate. As a professional body established on the moral values of honesty and devotion, a profession, which operates on a code of professional ethics and practice, we wholeheartedly welcome investigations into the allegation.
“That is the proper thing to do. We have not only supported the anti-corruption agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, we have also pledged to support the government in achieving this objective in any way possible,” Wike said.