Estate surveyors lament abandoned projects, offer solution to quick delivery

NIESV berated land Use act an as unjust legislation, because by the time land is taking over, it is only property at the depreciation level that would attracts compensation, with land excluded from attracting any compensation, leaving the owner suffer double tragedy

LAMENTING over the rate of abandoned projects’ abandoned throughout the federation, surveyors, under the aegis of Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Board of Faculty, at its meeting last week, said the government of Mohammadu Buhari should make a difference and ensure delivery of all major projects.

In their opinion, proper valuation of projects is sine-qua-non to effective implementation. If a contract has been well documented, abinito, it would be difficult to engage in variation, a path for possible contract abandonment.

Speaking on the issue, Chairman, Faculty Project Management and Development, Mr. Niyi Fatokun, an estate surveyor and valuer, stated that contract not properly evaluated would lead to variation.

According to him, it would require the services of an expert, like NIESV member, who is competent in the business to give the necessary professional advice.

“Contract may be abandoned if there is insufficient fund to execute it and this may be attributed to incompetent valuation right from the beginning. So, to avoid abandoning project in the country, especially, government projects, estate surveyor and valuers’ involvement at the conception of such project is very important”.

Similarly, practitioner, Secretary, Faculty Housing, Mr. Casmir Anyanwu, who spoke specifically on housing project, noted that for Nigeria to make head way in housing delivery and avoid abandoning of housing projects, noted that involvement of community was very germain.

According to Anyanwu, idea of communities and associations to be involved in housing delivery would bring desirable results into the real estate sector, noting that they can form cooperative societies, whereby their members apply for loan. “With this they would be able to access mortgage facilities by which their members would be paying installments”.

Defending the legitimacy of NIESV’s as the only body whose members are authorised to carry out valuation exercise in Nigeria, the same role that made the body to be at loggerhead with the engineers, Mr. Samson Agbatan, Chairman, Faculty, Valuation and Compensation, said engineers are competent to determine the operational aspects of plant, equipment or machines, but added that true valuation in the market is within the purview of NIESV.
Other issues discussed are the contradictions inherent in the controversial Land use Act, that made compensations difficult to determine. The association believed that the act that vested land in the hand of government, put property owners at a disadvantage in the event of revocation of the properties’ title for “overall public interest”.

NIESV believes that the act is unjust because by the time such land was taken over, it is only property at the depreciation level that would attract compensation, with land excluded from attracting compensation.

They, therefore, called for either total abrogation of the act or its complete review.

Earlier in his speech, Coordinator NIESV’s Faculty Board, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi, noted innovations into real estate practice across the globe, there was need for specialization.

He added that specialisation by the practitioners would enable them conform to global best practices, adding that this is the motivation for breaking the profession into various faculties to remove the complexities involved by the strategic nature of the estate surveying and valuation.

Patunola-Ajayi listed the faculties to include plant and equipment, valuation and compensation, housing, estate agency, arbitration, conciliation and expert witness.

Others are environment, land information systems, property, facility project management and development, with each of them having chairman and secretary.

The coordinator noted that the present content and culture of the practices require change to meet realities that can make the profession compete favourably with her international counterparts, such as RICs, IVS among others.

In a related development, the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has called on institution to bring their professionalism to the forefront in the society as the profession is critical to the development of any society.

Speaking in Asaba at the 2015 Mandatory Continuing Professional Development workshop of the Delta State branch of Institution last week, Okowa reiterated the importance of the profession in the workings of government as regards acquisition of lands and payment of compensations to land owners for infrastructural development.

Represented by former Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Martins Okonta, Okowa said that without the presence of estate surveyors and valuers society will found it difficult to get things done in an organized manner.

He added that if due processes concerning land acquisitions and compensation are not followed by government at all levels, there might be delay in infrastructural development in the country as government has to deal with litigations and protest by the owners of the land.

He said estate surveyors and Valuers must make themselves strong in order for the society to recognize their value, asking, “if you do not put up what you know to the society, how will the society recognize you?”

Also speaking at the workshop, the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Chief Dan Okenyi urged the surveyors to prove to the world that they are true professionals who know their worth in the society.


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