Tuesday, 21 July 2015

ESTATE SURVEYORS CALL FOR APPOINTMENT OF AN ESTATE SURVEYOR AS HOUSING MINISTER

Tectono Business Review gathered that Estate Surveyors and Valuers, under the aegis of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), have called for the appointment of a practicing professional Estate Surveyor as the next Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development so that the country will be well positioned to solve its housing problems.

The Lagos branch chairman of NIESV, Mr. Offiong Ukpong, made this known in his inaugural speech during the investiture of the new executive council of the branch. He added that over the years, the government had neglected the input of estate surveyors and valuers as land economists in decisions and policies pertaining to property transactions, the environment, national assets and investment.

He said: “If Nigeria shall be among the 10 most developed economies in the world by 2030, then we must begin now to be more pragmatic in handling issues of our country, towns, cities and villages. Land economics is greater than money economics and prominence should be given to land economy in the country.”

According to a very popular and wealthy Estate Surveyor and erstwhile President of NIESV, Mr. Bode Adediji, the country’s real estate sector is the worst in the world in terms of practice and regulation.

He said: “If there is any sector in our country today that has been so reluctant to change, it is the real estate sector. If you compare the sector in Nigeria to others in terms of the way it is being governed, practised and regulated, and of course its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of the country, we are the worst in the world. This is sad because it should have been the sector that from one regime to another should have been used as a platform to create employment for the young people, either as architects, engineers, town planners, electricians, bricklayers or others; but unfortunately, this country has depended up till this moment on two main areas, which are not sustainable, petroleum and trading.

“We have a land area of 973,000 square kilometres with a population of 173 million people; it is an aberration for such a nation to be asking others to feed her. While would Thailand for instance, feed us when we are not lame, deaf and dumb? I know there are vested interests but the earlier we are able to surmount self-interest to the general interest of everyone, the earlier we would see the light.”

The flamboyant Mr. Adediji, who is also the Principal Partner of Bode Adediji Partnership, opined that President Buhari could not afford to repeat the mistake of past regimes by appointing ministers that did not fit into certain ministries that were critical to the development of the country.

In his own words: “For sectors like agriculture, please put someone who is committed and who knows all about agriculture. For housing, please pick professionals from the built environment comprising architecture, estate management, town planning and surveyors, among others, and who have had practical pedigree in production and not in rent-seeking capacity, and charge them with the duties.”

The erstwhile NIESV boss also called for a shift from the current rent economy, adding that the country must engage in property development, facility management, project management and venture capital.