The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos Branch, has said that most parts of Lagos Island, which form major urban centres in the metropolis, still have rural characteristics and need to be redeveloped.
The Chairman, NIESV, Lagos Branch, Mr. Offiong Ukpong, stated this when he led members of the institution on a courtesy visit to the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu.
“There are many areas that are due for redevelopment such as most parts of the Lagos Island, Shitta area, Iddo, etc. Lagos is a major urban centre in the world, but 30 metres from the major highway, what we find are rural characteristics. The multiple interests subsisting in the tiny units of development or buildings can be identified, harmonised or aggregated and developed into multi-storey buildings with modern conveniences and facilities without losing the original ownership rights or interest.”
The estate surveyors and valuers also raised issues concerning building collapse in the state, noting that the multiple-storey buildings dotting the skyline of Marina and Broad Street had been in existence for many years, while several new developments across the state had collapsed.
According to Ukpong, most of the old projects were managed by estate surveyors and valuers, while it has been found that they have not been involved in any of the recent collapsed buildings.
He added, “You will recall the works of Knight Frank and Rutley as he then was called, Fox and Co. and many other indigenous firms that operated then. They were involved in project conception, project management and property management, and we had more organised cities and society.
“Suddenly, every other professionals in the built environment thought that what the estate surveyors and valuers know and could do can be done by them and we became known, called and addressed as estate agents and today, the buildings are collapsing, the cities are decaying and the environment is blighted.”
Ukpong stated that the old method of construction and management stipulating that no building above four floors should be approved without the inclusion of a consultant estate surveyor and valuer, who by training and experience, knows what to do and the enormous responsibility of his profession in every project, could be adopted by the government.
Among other concerns, he said the government needed to engage members of the profession more as their competences were daily getting destroyed and eroded, while the society and the people were the worst for it.
He stated, “In the Federal Executive Council today, there is no estate surveyor and valuer there. But the estate surveyor and valuer is also a land economist. Therefore, who advises the government on land matters?
“A similar situation is replicated in all states of the federation. I cannot recall the last time any estate surveyor and valuer was appointed as a minister of the federation or commissioner in Lagos State, and asked to oversee issues of land matters, housing or physical assets of the state or the federation.”
Ukpong noted that this had led to the decay of national assets such as stadia and the Federal Secretariat in Ikoyi, which had been abandoned, among other public buildings.
He said the government should also consider the establishment of the office of the Valuer-General of the Federation, and by extension, in all the states; appoint an estate surveyor and valuer as a minister and commissioner in Lagos State, and partner the professionals on urban renewal of Lagos Island and other areas of the state requiring regeneration.