The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) Samuel Amegayibor, has urged the government to adopt new and modern ways of fighting illicit money transfer in the real estate sector.
According to him, money laundering, which is gradually creeping into the sector will drive away foreign investments if not checked.
In an interaction with Citi Business News, Mr. Amegayibor tasked the Works and Housing Minister to focus on combating the menace in his new term of office.
“Those people who are into money laundering are creeping into our sector and when a genuine businessman wants to secure a loan from a Western country, because Ghana may be seen to be harbouring launders, the application can be rejected. So it’s going to affect foreign direct investment flow into the country if we don’t work on it because they are going to screen us with eagle eyes to ensure that this money that’s being given to us is not going into terrorism financing.”
“So we have to open our eyes. And it falls under the Ministry of Works and Housing because the law that is supposed to regulate the activities of real estate is the one which has just been passed, which is the Real Estate Agency Act 2020, Act 1047,” he added.
The Real Estate Authority Act 2020 became law in November last year.
The law will regulate real estate agency practice, the conduct of real estate practitioners, commercial transactions in real estate including the sale. It also covers the purchase, rental, and leasing of real estate, as well as other real estate transactions.
It will also establish the Real Estate Agency Council to license real estate brokers, issue real estate transfer certificates, and monitor the performance of the brokers.
A memorandum of the bill underscored the need to regulate real estate agency services to rid the industry of fraud, laundering of illegal income, and tax evasion to minimize the effect of these vices on the national economy and the image of the country internationally.