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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

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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.

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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’

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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.
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