The President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war will bring about a shift in sponsors of property development from corrupt public officials to those who actually do legitimate business, as funds would eventually be available to them in developing real estate.
The Federal Government’s anti-corruption operatives are now going after ‘super rich’ public officers who have multiple properties and other assets suspected to have been the rewards of graft. It is expected that the property market will be flooded because corrupt politicians will be selling off to avoid suspicion from anti-craft agency. Civil servants are also being watched on lifestyle, so most of them will not be acquiring properties as it used to be.
“What you are going to see is reallocation. There is going to be a shift. In the medium and long term, you will see a stabilisation of ownership. Because of corruption, money meant to develop the economy was going into the pockets of a few. Right now, as government recovers the funds, it will be used to run the economy the way it should be run,” said Arc Samson Akinyosoye, spokesman of Nigerian Institute of Architecture (NIA).
Akinyosoye told Daily Independent that the anti-corruption war is going to plug all leakages and when it does that, the economy will be better for it. It then means that people who do legitimate business will have enabling environment to ply their trade, have money to develop properties for Nigerians.
In the United States and elsewhere, properties are not owned by politicians. They are owned by people who do business in real estate or in other sectors.
“They put their resources in developing real estate. What you are going to see is that ownership is going to change hands,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Tribunal (ICPC) has commenced a clampdown on very wealthy civil servants. Already, the agency has seized 24 property and several cars from three civil servants with one of them having 18 properties.
A document obtained from the Office of the Chairman of the ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, with the title ‘Notice of Seizure of Movable and Immovable Properties Pursuant to Section 45 (4) a – (b) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000, revealed that the commission seized the property from three officials of the Ministry of Niger Delta. It stated that the property was seized because they were “excessive of the emoluments of the affected officers.”
On Wednesday, the Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, had recommended the recovery of about N183bn being funds meant for the development of Niger Delta but which was allegedly diverted for other purposes.