The Nigerian Institute of Building has called on the National Assembly to legislate laws against abandonment of property and also investigate owners of abandoned buildings across the country.
The institute expressed concern that several abandoned buildings were not only wasting, but also contributing to the economic challenges and insecurity in the country.
Speaking in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, the NIOB spokesperson, Godfrey Godfrey, said the owners of such property should be investigated because some of the buildings might have been acquired from ill-gotten wealth.
According to him, no hardworking person will buy a building and abandon it to waste away.
He also said abandoned properties belonging to the federal and state governments should also be adequately disposed of as proposed in the 2023 budget in order to boost the economy.
He said, “Aside Federal Government-owned property, there are also many others that government agencies and individuals have acquired and some seized by court order are littering everywhere across the country.
“There are estates that we know of that have been sealed off for many years by government agencies. Reasons why those property have remained like this for many years is unknown.
“In big cities and areas like Ikoyi, Victoria Island and other parts of the country, you will realise that quite a high percentage of the buildings there are lying fallow; some have been like that for decades.
“The prices for rent and sales are not affordable. I also remember that the National Assembly had talked about promulgating a law that will sanction owners of those buildings that have remained vacant for many years.
“If you have quite a good number of buildings in the city that are unoccupied and the rents are not affordable, it’s not good for the economy, environment and security as well because often times, you will notice that because those houses had been abandoned for a long time, you begin to see illegal occupants there and various activities happen within those environment.
“So we are hopeful that the National Assembly will be able to promulgate a law to be able to address the issue of property owners who have acquired wealth illegally; starch them in properties and leave them lying fallow because they do not want to be identified with such property.”