NIESV tackles money laundering in real estate market

Director, Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Bamanga Bello (left); Director Financial Intelligence Unit, EFCC, Mr. Usani Francis and President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi; during a one-day workshop of stakeholders on Nigerian anti- money laundering and combating of financing terrorism in Abuja

Inducts 292 new surveyors
In an effort to prevent money laundering and block terrorism financing in real estate transactions, the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has begun talks with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to adopt stamps of its regulatory body for every transaction.

Under the proposed measure, every transaction in real estate would carry a stamp of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Council of Nigeria (ESVARBON).

The NIESV believes the control measure would guarantee proper record keeping and report of transactions as required by the EFCC and curb quacks in the property business.

The new development was revealed at a one-day workshop organized by NIESV in collaboration with the EFCC in Abuja for property sector stakeholders aimed at preventing money laundering through property transactions.

At the opening, NIESV President, Dr Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi, who lamented the increasing quacks in real estate business, said the workshop was timely considering the need to check their excesses in the profession.

Patunola-Ajayi noted that their activities were more prone to fraud, advocated for collaboration with law enforcement agents to bring sanity in property transaction to prevent money laundering through property transactions.

His words: “NIESV is a profession acknowledged by law and practice to handle property transactions but some people have just encroached into it from every corner. Whenever there is any problem, they come to us and we have discovered from our findings that a number of people are doing transactions behind us.”

Meanwhile, the institution has called on its 292 newly inducted associate members to imbibe professionalism in the practice of real estate business.

Patunola-Ajayi, made the call in Abuja at the Associates’ Induction ceremony of the institution.

He said the induction of new members was to increase the needed number of estate surveyors and valuers providing real estate services in Nigeria.

“Presently, about 5000 members are serving over 180 million people in the country and that necessitated our eagerness to have more members to render real estate services.”

He urged the inductees to uphold the constitution and code of ethics of the institution adding that the various divisions available constitute areas of specialization in NIESV.

“It is not possible for an individual to be an expert in all the 15 divisions, so you are advised to choose a maximum of four as desired for practices.You are required to further develop your expertise in your chosen division and be informed that, as a specialist, your training and retraining in your chosen division is continuous,” he said.

The Guest Speaker, Hajia Fatima Olowokure said the induction was a call for greater responsibilities and urged the inductees to remain focus in the practice of the profession.

While noting that high ethical standards, integrity and professional credibility were paramount in the profession, Olowokure said hard work and professionalism were other important prerequisites for excellence in real estate practice in the country.

Mrs. Chioma Wogu-Ogbonna, who spoke on behalf the inductees, commended the executive members of NIESV for the induction.

She pledged that the inductee would put in their best to project the image of the institution by ensuring adherence to the code of ethics of the profession.

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