No Comments

Dr. B.J. Patunola Ajayi – A Real Estate Icon And Luminary At 70

Celebrating The Remarkable Achievements Of A Seasoned Professional On His Birthday

ESV. Dr. Patunola-Ajayi Bolarinde Joshua is a revered figure and a beacon of wisdom, advocating for the growth and development of Nigeria’s real estate industry. His over 40 years of experience have shaped the industry in numerous ways, emphasizing the importance of ethical standards, professionalism, competence, specialization, growth, and continuous education.

He was born in Ejiyan-Ekiti, Nigeria, seventy years ago and despite facing challenges, he persevered through his education and career. He graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University with a B.Sc in Estate Management, a Masters in Project Management from the University of Lagos, and a Masters of Technology and Doctor of Philosophy in Estate Management from the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

He has also served the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) in various capacities since joining the Professional body in 1982 and was elected as an Associate Member in 1986. He was elevated to the Fellow grade in 1998 and has since served as the Hon. Publicity Secretary, Un-Officio, Chairman, and MCPD member amongst others. He became the First Vice President of the Institution in 2014 and the 22nd President between 2016 and 2018. During his period of service, he championed real estate industry initiatives and advocated for policies supporting professional growth. He also participated in the development of NIESV Building in Ikeja, and the NIESV National Headquarters Building in Abuja.

management team j. ajayi patunola

He also played a significant role in the growth of Faculties and specialization in the industry and envisioned a NIESV that embodied specialization in existing competencies and explored new areas. In addition, he also led a committee to pioneer the Nigerian College of Estate Management, preparing members for certification in various competencies and has developed comprehensive study packs for professional exams including advocating for the Adult Route for aged and seasoned professionals. In all, his legacy continues to inspire excellence and innovation in the industry.

ESV. (DR.) PATUNOLA-AJAYI, BOLARINDE JOSHUA PHD, FNIVS, FRICS, PPNIVS is also known for his commitment to mentorship and knowledge sharing. He has helped numerous mentees navigate the complexities of the profession and achieve professional certifications. He is known for his integrity, humility, and genuine care for others.

Today, we the entire members of staff and Management of J. Ajayi Patunola & Co. celebrate our Founding Father. We applaud his achievements and express our gratitude for his legacy. His passion, integrity, and advocacy no doubt elevated the real estate profession and inspired others to strive for excellence. We wish him continued health, happiness, and fulfilment.

Happy Birthday, ESV. (DR.) PATUNOLA-AJAYI, BOLARINDE JOSHUA PHD, FNIVS, FRICS, PPNIVS – a true icon, a beacon of wisdom, a stalwart advocate and luminary in our profession, a man of innovation, and unwavering dedication to our noble profession in the world of real estate practice and profession.

No Comments

Why Does the World Need Surveyors?

Surveyors keep traffic flowing, water running and people moving. They shape our roads, bridges and tunnels, our skyscrapers, stations and stadiums. You will also find them at work in mines and in fields, on cliffs and on beaches. They value the houses we live in and the places we work in. They create safer homes and happier communities.

And they’re busy shaping our future too: helping to regenerate deprived areas and planning smart cities connected by the Internet of Things, while pioneering safer, more sustainable and more environmentally friendly building methods.

Surveyors work closely with a wide range of people: architects and engineers, bankers and ecologists, town planners and of course, property developers. And they use the latest technologies: flying drones to map land and measure buildings, creating virtual reality models of buildings, and using Big Data to tackle global issues like climate change, migration and urbanisation.

There are more than 100 varied career roles across the surveying profession in three main sectors: construction and infrastructure; property; and land.

national theatre estate surveyors

Construction and infrastructure careers

Making crucial decisions of what goes where and why surveyors are involved in planning the construction of everything from skyscrapers to shopping centres and festivals to football stadiums. And the infrastructure that connects us relies on surveyors too: from our roads, bridges, and railways also to our energy supplies and communication networks.

Surveying roles in construction and infrastructure

  • Building surveyors help create and supervise everything from towering skyscrapers to simple home extensions.
  • Project management surveyors run teams to deliver projects on time and on budget.
  • Quantity surveyors assess the financial impact and profitability of construction projects.
  • Building control surveyors design and manage the use of buildings to make sure they comply with laws and regulations.
  • Infrastructure surveyors ensure the effective running and connecting of cities, including rail, road, broadband as well as electricity.

Read also: Don’t patronise quack estate agents, Patunola-Ajayi warns Nigerians

Property careers

Property surveyors work in housing, business property and even personal property, such as antiques and fine art. They buy and rent homes and offices, acquire land for property development and value everything from possessions to skyscrapers.

Surveying roles in property 

  • Property surveyors value, sell, rent and manage all types of housing and businesses, from offices to shops and restaurants.
  • Valuation surveyors analyse and measure the value of buildings or businesses: for example, how much is Google actually worth?
  • Management consultancy surveyors maximise business performance by running operations, strategies and structures.
  • Facilities management surveyors add value to businesses by creating vibrant, productive workplaces.

Land careers

From coastal erosion and flood defences to town and environmental planning, land surveyors play a huge role in how we live. And, with climate change and resource scarcity becoming ever-more important issues, land surveyors will have an even greater role in shaping the future.

Surveying roles in land 

  • Geomatics surveyors map, analyse and interpret spatial data and information about the land, sea and buildings.
  • Environmental surveyors manage the development and use of land to minimise the impact on the environment.
  • Minerals and waste surveyors extract, mine, use and manage natural resources and then plan the disposal of related waste.
  • Rural surveyors value and manage the use of land and buildings in the countryside.
  • Planning and development surveyors help create the towns and cities of the future, ensuring happier, healthier communities.

J Ajayi Patunola & Co. has been at the forefront of surveying in Nigeria for thirty years and also is a member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and other international surveying organizations.

Source: RICS UK
No Comments

Investment Opportunities in the Real Estate Industry 1

lagos building

The dwindling oil revenues, economic recession coupled with the recovering nature of the economy amongst other factors affecting the economic growth and development of Nigeria has called for a more subtle approach in diversifying and investing in a worthwhile investment opportunity. Thus, real estate has been described as a major source of investment with great return on investment and hedge against inflation as enshrined in its characteristics.

Real estate majorly refers to any landed property investments. However, it must be emphasized that the great potentials of real estate still remain largely untapped.
The Nigerian real estate market with its potentials, like similar markets in several emerging economies in Africa and the world, has not benefitted from varied property investment opportunities and still remains poorly tapped and harnessed. With surging rents, significant housing deficits and increased demand for a wide range of real estate investment opportunities, the Nigerian real estate market is a matrix of opportunity and unique challenges, which only optimistic, rational and good investors would be able to successfully convert into viable, long-term profits.

glass house

According to Akeju (2007), the status of the Nigerian housing market which remains highly untapped and undeveloped despite lot of opportunities that abound in the sector is attributed to many reasons amongst which include: lack of finance; government policy; lack of infrastructural development and high level of poverty, information generation and transmission as well as the responsiveness to changes in the real estate market. Real estate has become an asset class for individual and institutional investors seeking to diversify their investment portfolios.

A clear understanding of these situations is key to the effective development of the real estate market, generation of significant investment opportunities and high return on investment for prudent investors.

What Are the Real Estate Investment Opportunities?

Land Holdings

With a rapidly urbanizing population, city borders are rapidly appreciating creating an opportunity for land investments. However, venturing into this area requires deep insights into government plans in terms of infrastructure distribution and land allocations. This is because of the lapse in infrastructure spread across the country, especially in city outskirts.

Commercial Buildings

The first major opportunity in commercial real estate today is in retails, shops, stalls and office retail settings. Recently there has been a rush development of malls all over the country. In general, there is a lot of room for world-class retail spaces, even shopping centres, strips and mini markets. For years, Nigeria has operated a large and segmented market system where pricing on products are set according to your haggling ability but today as the majority of the population move into the city and a mass majority gain incredible global exposure there is a newfound push and acceptance of organized retail centres.

Residential Real Estate

Residential real estate offers an incredible array of investment opportunities, some with reasonable participation from current investors, others left idly still. Estates development is one of the areas with high opportunities and while there are a lot of participants in that arena scaled estates covering 100’s of acres is not the norm.

Land Flipping / Land Speculation

This means buying land and quickly reselling it for profit. This is one of the smartest investments in the industry and requires no effort whatsoever.

Open Space Leasing

This refers to letting out open space for the use of events.

This post is an extract of a paper delivered by ESV. (Dr.) Bolarinde J. Patunola-Ajayi, PPNIVS, FNIVS, FRICS on Opportunities in the Real Estate Industry

1 Comment

Don’t patronise quack estate agents, Patunola-Ajayi warns Nigerians

The immediate past President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Dr Joshua Patunola-Ajayi, has warned against patronising people he described as quacks, who defraud innocent people in the real estate business.

He spoke in Ibadan during the 48th Annual Conference of the institution, which ended on Saturday and during which Patunola-Ajayi completed his term of office.

According to him, there is a huge difference between real estate professionals and estate agents on the street, while expressing sadness that despite the existence of the law guiding the practice of real estate, many people still boldly go against the law.

He said, “Many people do not know the difference between our members and estate agents on the street. Many people are doing estate agency just to survive but our own business is practised by trained individuals who are certified by the body.

“Despite the law that specifies who should practice the profession, we still have many people going against the law. Eradicating quacks in real estate is a big fight that the government must address to protect the industry and help economic development. There is a code of ethics in the profession that protects tenants and ordinary people from being defrauded. I urge people to patronise professionals in the industry to guard against being defrauded.”

While highlighting the impact of the annual conference on the economy and ordinary people, Patunola-Ajayi stated that members were provided with an avenue to develop their capacities, which would, in turn, benefit the nation’s economy.

He said, “The annual national conference was an opportunity to give intensive lectures to members on how to improve on their work. It was also an avenue to network and enable our members to update their skills and meet the global best practices in the profession.

“Among the issues addressed were potential of the real estate sector as a veritable tool for economic development and ethical concerns in infrastructural development. When we come together at a conference, we have in our hearts what positive impact we will have on the people.”

The new NIESV President, Mr Roland Abonta, said the conference was held to address how Nigeria could take advantage of the investment opportunities in the sector.

Source: The Punch

No Comments

NIESV sets goals to enhance standard of practice

apartment building

Members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) have resolved to dialogue with stakeholders to resolve their differences.

The members made the resolution at its 47th national conference at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), Owerri, the state capital.

The NIESV’s President, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi, urged the members to deliberate with a view to moving the country’s economy forward.

The body promised to collaborate with the Institute of Bankers and pursue other ethical issues to enhance its standard of practice.

The estate valuers also tasked the institution on professional fee charges, which it said must be in line with the current global trends and economic realities.

The NIESV further canvassed an improved collaboration between the two chambers of the National Assembly to resolve the challenges confronting valuation in the country.

They urged the lawmakers to pass the bills affecting the NIESV to enable it to move forward while calling for proactive measures among members to adopt the resolutions reached at the conference in line with the regulatory standards.

Various committees were set up to address various issues, one of which was headed by the second Vice President, Emmanuel O. Wike.

Also, the Honorary Publicity Secretary and Chairman of the Planning Committee, Charles Oghenero Ebiai, said the theme of the conference ‘’Growing and Diversifying the National economy: The Real Estate Imperatives’’ was very timely.

He charged them to resolve the issues affecting the institution in the areas of land-based revenue generation opportunities, integrated urban-rural development and optimising tourism in real estate through foreign direct investment (FDI).

He listed others as mobilising the private real estate investments and the one-city growth model.

This, he, said was necessary to address the challenges posed by the spiral effect of the country’s economy, particularly the dwindling cost of oil in the world market.

Ebiai appealed to the professionals and government to exploit other non-oil revenues to boost the economy.

Some officials of the Nigerian Navy attended the conference, which would end on April 1, after its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

NIESV sets goals to enhance standard of practice

No Comments

Recession: Real Estate Stakeholders Want Sector Re-energized

As the federal government  released the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which unveils a road map for the country’s economic recovery growth and sustainable development, real estate experts have called on the government to look in the direction of the real estate sector to further improve the economy.

The government said the core vision of the ERGP is one of sustained inclusive growth, with focuses on improving both public and private sector efficiency.

Real estate is considered a vibrant sector that provides jobs for many people such as  consultants, contractors, suppliers of  building materials, vendors, labourers and artisans.

Speaking on the huge economic potential in the property sector, President of  the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi,   said the sector if fully  tapped by government at all levels could  get the economy out of recession.

He said: “Real estate business is about management of all land resources, which gives support for all activities of man. Every business is done on land. Human life and basic needs are dependent on land, hence Nigeria must pay attention to real estate, except we are not prepared to come out of our economic woes.

“Real estate investment is the pedestal for economic development and growth, and many developing nations such as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates that understand this have seen the positive impact on their economies. There is effective demand in the real estate sector; developers only need to seek the consultancy services of estate surveyors and valuers to know which type of real estate should be developed in a particular place.”

Patunola-Ajayi stated also that it was erroneous for the government to think that the economy could only be diversified through agriculture and the film and fashion industry, rather than the real estate sector.

According to him, surveying every parcel of land will ensure that every owner, including farmers, has registered title to their land and that would make it possible and easier for the public to have access to loan facilities for all types of developments such as residential, agricultural, commercial or industrial.

“This is with a resultant effect that houses are available for living and offices are available for business, including transportation to move goods and services from one place to another.

Speaking in similar vein, the National Coordinator, Women in Surveying, a subset of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Mrs. Funke Adekunle, called on government at all levels to embark on construction as many people  would be engaged  and  help the nation to come out of the present economic recession.

Adekunle stated that establishing industries in large numbers would provide job opportunities for the youth, adding that it would stimulate the economy to some extent.

She spoke on Friday at the 13th annual regional conference of the Women in Surveying.

She also encouraged individuals to establish industries in order to encourage local production of  building materials currently being imported from other countries.

No Comments

FG Should Cede Office Buildings in Lagos to State Government

national theatre estate surveyors

BOLARINDE PATUNOLA-AJAYI is the President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Principal Partner of J. Ajayi Patunola and Company. In this interview with Property and Environment Editor, CHINEDUM UWAEGBULAM, he argued that public office holders must attach a valuation report to ensure transparency in asset declation. He also spoke on the invasion of the professional arena by foreign firms, estate agency practice and other housing industry – related matters.

There is this concern on the disparity in valuation reports by estate surveyors on a particular property, which confirms that your members are not adopting global best practices. What are you doing to harmonize models and methodology for valuation?
The practice of valuation of properties all over the world including Nigeria is subjected to standard practice. You cannot be given the license to value unless you meet both local and international standards; these standards are also regulated with ethics and lay down procedures. When two estate surveyors   and valuers carry out the same valuation of the same property, at the same period of time and for the same purpose, the difference in value should not be too wide.

In a case where there is much disparity in value, our Institution always frowns at it. One of the major reasons for disparity in value is the source of data, when the data given by clients or sourced in the course of the exercise is defective, the value will be defective, we have put together a standard instruction book called “Green Book” which will be launched very soon to strengthen standard of our practice. Furthermore, we devoted many days to Mandatory Continuous Professional Development of our members to ensure that emerging standards and regulation are embraced by members. We do not spare any members who contravened our standard. We discipline our members not only with respect to valuation but in all other areas of our practice. Our institution is a member of International Valuation Standard Organizations like IVSC (International Valuation Standard Committee) and we are even represented on the Board.

Presently, we are also working on local data, which will serve as a source of information to our members.

One of the biggest challenges facing NIESV is accelerating the registration of new entrants into the noble profession to meet with the rapidly growing population. Which measures are you adopting to increase membership?
The most important issue is the level of competence of registered members. There is the minimum standard set for professional competence before a new member can be elected.  We are very conscious in this aspect, thus, the slow pace of increasing the numbers. We want to ensure adherence to the standard so as to avoid producing half-backed professionals.

We have also seen the problem of limited number of qualified estate surveyors and valuers serving the huge population of Nigerians. In the light of this, we have decided to take the bull by the horn in this administration to implement our constitutional proposal for the establishment of the post graduate school, the Nigeria College of Estate Management and Valuation, which will train graduates for a specific period of time and get them registered. This college will ensure that the standard of the newly registered surveyors are as required and at the same time, will be able to handle more members. The school will also be an avenue for old members to attend courses to update their knowledge to prepare for better services every year, because it may become a condition for annual renewal of practicing license.

After more than two decades the federal capital moved to Abuja, several office structures are wasting away in Lagos. Now that recession has set in, don’t you think these property are goldmine for the federal government. What should be done?
There are professional opinions, which may be at variance with political decision. Professional advice had been given on several occasions concerning the properties, which some Government’s MDAs vacated in Lagos. The Lagos State government decided to be erecting new complexes for his staff indicating that there is shortage of accommodation; the wasting office buildings of the Federal Government in Lagos could be ceded to them, not necessary for monetary value, but as the father of all. We have economic recession, and therefore should not be sourcing for buyers for the properties now. There are others, which are residential buildings.  My advice is that the Federal Government should release them for developers to turn them around to bring long-term revenue to the Federal Government. Members of my profession will be ready to work with the government to attract developers to these properties, which are majorly for redevelopment.

The institution has been clamouring for valuation of assets that would be declared by public office holders at the Code of Conduct Bureau. Why do think this is necessary? What is the outcome of your meetings with the Bureau?
Asset declaration is an exercise to show what a public office holder had at the beginning of the tenure of his service, and the tune the assets will be revisited during or at the end of the service. The essence of declaration is to ensure transparency and that no assets are wrongly acquired by the office holder. As an institution whose profession is determination of monetary value of property,  producing ordinary list is not enough, it is necessary to attach a valuation report that will describe the properties, attach the photograph and state the value as at the date of the valuation, we are still meeting with the Bureau.

There has been the invasion of Nigeria by established foreign big time real estate’s companies, which is imparting on the fortune of local practices.  How is the institution strategizing and ensuring members establish mega practice firms to meet needs of today’s property market?
The invasion of the professional arena, not only in estate surveyor and valuation now is a serious menace that is militating against the growth of the practice in Nigeria. There are local standard organizations, like Standard Organization of Nigeria, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Bureau of Public Procurement, etc, who should come to the rescue of all professionals. There are laws to be fulfilled by them; there are local content to observe, and local standard to meet. They must ensure that foreign firms comply with the laws of Nigeria.

In the profession of estate surveying and valuation, we have started to encourage our members to come together and form mega firms and consortia, so that we can have the team that can handle any job of any size to international standard. We have also started to embark on capacity building of our members at the various divisions of our practice. This will naturally endow us a good place in the assessment of our clients, and the Government Organizations should also ensure that the foreign firms comply with the law of the land, and collaborate with indigenous firms where the law says so.

For several years, the issue of fraud in estate agency practice has been on front burner, especially with tenants and prospective buyers being duped. What are you doing to regulate the estate agency practice?
Presently, we are working with the Lagos state Real Estate Transaction Department to ensure that record of all Estate Agents in Lagos State are taken for control, and enforcement. It will then be difficult for just anybody to call himself or herself an estate agent. We also intend to replicate this in all states of the federation and Abuja.

‘FG should cede office buildings in Lagos to state government’

No Comments

Why FCT is littered with abandoned houses — NIESV president

The new President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers NIESV, Bolarinwa Patunola-Ajayi has said that the Federal Capital Territory FCT, is littered with unoccupied buildings, because majority of them are proceeds of corruption, calling on the federal government to be serious in introducing property tax to address housing problem in the country. File: Abandoned building The NIESV boss has equally called on government at all levels to invest more in social housing with a view to reducing the country’s housing deficit while providing accommodation for low-income earners.

Patunola-Ajayi, who stated this while addressing property correspondents during the maiden meeting of his council members in Abuja, said Abuja and its environs had enough buildings/houses that could accommodate its population without them running to nearby states to live. However, he noted that thousands of the houses were not occupied due to high cost of rents placed on them by their owners or agents, forcing Abuja workers to seek settlement in the nearby states like Niger and Nasarawa states.

He maintained that those buildings were largely proceeds of corruption by powerful people in the society, which they used as a means to tie-down their ill-gotten wealth. According to him, they do not care what happens to those buildings because it is not their hard-earned money, urging the government to impose heavy tax on them to crash high cost of house rent in the FCT. He said those buildings should be valued by professional valuers and an appropriate tax be placed on them, adding that the hardship Nigerians are passing through to get accommodation is enough and must be seriously addressed by the government.

Patunola-Ajayi noted that other government’s initiatives to address housing deficit in the country should include social and investment housing programme for low-income earners in the country. He further said that the federal government should look at the housing as a complete programme beyond intervention of the private sector to solve the problem, adding that they had already put forward a proposal to the government to that effect. “The government must be involved in two key areas: social and investment housing that will incorporate everyone.

The Nigerian government should take a cue from Singapore; there should be a scheme to produce flats on a continuous basis yearly,” he said. Speaking on the focus of his administration, NIESV boss vowed to rid the profession of quacks and intensify disciplinary procedures to checkmate fraudulent practices among members. “We must all know that there are quacks in every profession, so estate surveying and valuation is not an exception. But we will leave no stone un-turned to rid the profession of quackery, especially in the estate agency area to restore peoples’ lost confidence thereby boosting general perception about estate management practice in the country,” NIESV Boss vowed.

He disclosed that the current membership strength of about 5000 was far too low to meet the real estate and property needs of over 170 million Nigerians, promising to focus on increasing this figure significantly without compromising standard. “How effective can 5000 professional meet the services demand of 170million? It shows that the nation is critically in need of professional estate surveyors and valuers. How many government properties have estate managers? We have only a few. This shows why many of our private and government-owned properties are poorly managed. So to serve everyone better, including the government, we need to increase our membership strength,” he said.
Read more at:

No Comments


patunola japco

Dr. Bolarinde Patunola Ajayi is the president, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and the principal partner, J. Ajayi Patunola & Co, a firm of estate surveyors & facility mangers. In this interview with OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE, he proffers solution on how the nation can get out of the recession, among other issues. Excerpts: 

What are the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV) suggestions on how Nigeria can exit the recession?

The real estate and construction sector can take Nigeria out of economic doldrums if we consider it for what it is – land resources including all things above and below it. If we apply land economics to the management of resources, we will consider those things that are attached to land that can help the nation out of recession. For instance, if you look at property investment, there are some areas of the property industry that if we put money into, it is likely to revitalise the economy. Infrastructure and construction development as a result of its many linkages is a huge employment generator as it involves consultants, artisans, suppliers and food vendors in its long chain. It is therefore imperative for the government to examine this sector and see how it can use available funds to put infrastructure in place; infrastructure provision is very key and that’s what can take us out of the current challenge.

What kind of infrastructure construction are you recommending?

At this time I will not advise that the government embark on housing construction in highbrow areas, but in the poor-to-medium income areas. It should be noted that housing for this level of people is not what you bring to the private sector that is mainly profit driven.  The project ideally should be driven by the government and l will recommend that it should not be made a-pay-and-buy option but rather a-rent-to-own option.

In Lagos, for instance, if the government builds 50 units of one and two-bedroom flats in Agege, within a month, the flats will be  taken off the market. Not only will those who are engaged in the construction be gainfully employed but the government would have taken people out of the streets with the ugly effects of recession contained. If this is replicated in most of the local governments in Lagos, before long a major social problem would have been taken care off. Unfortunately, the government makes the mistake of not even auditing the housing needs of the people before going ahead to build; albeit, in most cases, luxury flats that are out of the reach  of those who actually need accommodation.

How can the government develop programmes that will be all-inclusive?

The public will be surprised to learn that agricultural investment is part of real estate because if we evaluate land resources, we will discover that products will come to the market, people will have enough to eat, and less demand for imported goods.

If, indeed, the government wants to embark on projects that will affect the majority of the people, it will never do anything without considering the real estate. In addition, massive provision of infrastructure is also key to tackling recession as infrastructure upgrade and construction will aid in transforming the nation. For instance, if you go to Dubai or Singapore, the major industry there is real estate. So why can’t we start in Nigeria and see how we can use real estate to solve our problems.

There are calls for the sale of national assets. What is your take?

The question is why did the government come up with the idea to sell assets? As a nation we don’t even have enough assets, so why should we contemplate selling the little we have? I expect the government to find out ways we can develop the assets and make them work for us as a nation. If the assets are eventually sold, have we thought of what we want to do with the proceeds? In an ideal situation the government should have said what it wanted to do with the proceeds first, then it can decide which asset will yield the needed fund. The only thing I have heard is that we want to sell to combat recession; but after recession, what else?

The person who brought up the idea should be properly advised that it is what they call half idea. As a matter of fact government should be advised that before they can bring such to the public court a list of what they want to sell and what they honestly want to use it to do should be disclosed.

NIESV was not invited to present our position on the matter. A valuer will state how much a particular asset is worth; carry out feasibility and viability studies of even surrounding assets to the one you want to sell or build. Unfortunately, none of these was done and the noise is everywhere of the need to raise money through asset sale. This project is dead on arrival and should be spoken against by all lovers of this country except the right things are done.

Estate Surveyors & Valuers have joined several international standard boards. What is the implication for the country?

No nation is an island and non can exist without relationship with others. All professional practices now have a global link where standards are set in terms of principles, practice, control and ethics. Our institution, NIESV, has decided to work with international organisations that insist on standards. For instance, currently, we have international ethics standard coalitions. We pride ourselves as the first African group to be a member of the body, presently our member is the only African on the board of this prestigious body. We are there so that our own practice will be competitive while meeting international practice standards.

NIESV is also a member of the International Property Measurement Standards and the International Valuation Standard Board. These bodies ensure that our practice is in tandem with best global practice. It is gratifying to note also that our member is a member of council of this exclusive body.

We are also in partnership with the International Financial Reporting Council and, locally, with the Financial Reporting Council. We believe these are the ways we can maintain national and international standards in the practice of estate surveying.

We are putting together our own standards book that will incorporate all the international bodies we have links with including the practice in United Kingdom, Australia, American Society of Appraisal Standards and New Zealand. This will enable us spell out how our members should practise the valuation profession.

The Federal Government plans to build 50,000 units of houses. How possible is it with the recession?

The idea is laudable; at the same time I would want the government to note that we have the resources in Nigeria to do this. We only need to harness our resources and tailor it to deliver on expected targets. For instance the idle Pension Fund and unclaimed dividends can be put together and used to invest in real estate; but like l advised earlier, it should be invested in real estate that will be taken immediately by the public so that the rental can be re-invested to produce more. This no doubt will not only stimulate the sector by creating jobs along the housing linkages but  will also provide the needed decent accommodation in the lower to middle income strata where it is need most.

But, sadly, something very important has always been absent in our housing productions – maintenance of  houses built. It is common knowledge that whenever a housing project is conceived we only hear talks of design, contract and construction, nobody seems to be bothered about its management. Therefore the need to have an Estate Surveyor and Valuer from the inception of any project cannot be over-emphasised.

I am advising the government that as they initiate the appointment of a contractor to undertake a particular project they should at the same time appoints an Estate Surveyor and Valuer who will not only manage, but also maintain the structure as it is required. Surveyors are trained to handle maintenance and facility management so when these things are not incorporated from inception it will always create problems in future.

Besides there should be research into materials, design, typology and the type of houses to build. Have we found out how many people we are building for? You would be surprised that in Lagos we don’t even know how many people we want to build for; even nationally we cannot give the correct figure of those in need of critical accommodation. We got independence since 1960 but unfortunately we can’t still provide National Identity card for all Nigerian, it can be safely said that we may not be sure of our population. It is therefore very important that we research and find out how many we are and how many require houses and the types.

Why do we have many vacant houses especially in the highbrow areas?

The recession is driving people away from high rentals to low rental and it will continue like that until recession stops. It has always been like that during boom where people move from low rental to high rental. This happens when people get promoted in their offices and with status change the taste also scale up. Currently the top in most offices and businesses are frozen up, people are losing their jobs, that is why high rentals are receding. Besides expatriates are no longer coming in to take up big luxurious houses. So we will continue to have a lot of empty houses in otherwise upscale areas until the recession recedes.

Can we say the Lagos tenancy law has been a success?

When you have a tenancy law, it is to force landlord to accept certain amount and at the same time ask tenants to perform its own obligations. When tenants perform their statutory obligations the landlord will not have problem and vice versa for the landlord. The major problem may not really be the rent but whether the tenant has the rent to pay because of the current state of his business or source of income. Rental payment is the function of availability, if the rent is not there, there will always be conflict, and cases in court. In some cases the landlord is also expecting to spend that money it may just be his retirement benefit. It boils down to the fact that the recession is the major cause of what we are talking about.

What is your take on the fight against corruption?

Corruption in all ramifications is bad, wherever it is found whether in the Judiciary, Executive, Legislative, places of worship or indeed in any aspect of our public life; it should be discouraged. Corruption is a major challenge in the country and care should be taken to uproot it wherever it is found. Sentiment should be removed if we must exterminate it from our public space.