The prolonged battle between estate surveyors and valuers and other professions over the boundaries of their professional competencies may have finally been laid to rest, if the assertions of the chairman of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) are anything to go by.
Moreover, tertiary institutions accredited to offer programmes in Estate Surveying and Valuation in the country have now reached an impressive number of 40, for the award of Higher National Diploma (HND) and first degree certificates.
Chairman of ESVARBON, Mr. William Odudu, disclosed this last week in Lagos, while delivering an address at the send forth ceremony organized by the board in honour of the immediate past chairman, Ayodele Sangosanya.
He stated in categorical terms: “The war against quacks and encroachment into the professional turf of estate surveyors has intensified. Engineers, accountants, lawyers and other persons and groups that attempted to meddle into estate surveying and valuation have been met with full resistance of the Board. The recent NNPC valuation exercise is of note. We once again have put the engineers in their proper place as engineers and not valuers. We sincerely believe that engineers should focus on specifications and designs instead of engineering valuation”.
Odudu equally disclosed that a secretariat project for the Board will soon kick off in Abuja, latest by September, to sit the national headquarters permanently, while efforts have been stepped up to secure plots of land for permanent zonal offices in the six geopolitical zones of the country, namely: Kano, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Yola, Enugu and Abuja, announcing that the corporate headquarters of the Board will eventually move to Abuja.
Regarding this, he explained during an interaction with journalists that efforts to secure a parcel of land for the Board’s offices have been mostly successful, save in Lagos State where the sum of N150million is being demanded from the Board.
He queried the rationale, especially in view of the fact that ESVARBON is a creation of the Federal Government predating establishments such as the EFCC and the CPC, which have long been settled into their permanent offices. Moreover, the Board did not face such demands in other states where it already has allocations, including Port Harcourt, Kano, Ibadan and the FCT disclosed Odudu.
“In Kano we were allocated a very key land within the metropolis and a very commercial area, 100 metres by 100 meters and we have not been asked to pay even a naira. We have been allocated a plot in Port Harcourt in the central business area and we have not been asked to pay anything, we have been given a space in Ibadan to start our zonal office and we did not pay one kobo – we were allocated a space which we are going to use very soon.
“In fact, we are just furnishing it now. By the end of this month we are going to formally commission it. So, we expected something like that from the Lagos State government, like maybe an old building in Ikeja GRA. In Abuja, we were allocated two plots of about 2,100 square meters in Jahi Layout; we were not even asked to pay N1 million, close to the NAF Conference Centre, a very developed place. So, I was taken aback when I was asked to bring N150 million to get a plot in Lagos,” stated Odudu.
He revealed plans to revisit the issue through a formal letter to the governor to review the case.
“All we need is a piece of land to develop a zonal headquarter for the Board. It is federal government board set up to monitor and regulate the practice of estate surveying and valuation throughout the federation in all its forms and ramifications. So, you cannot do it from a rented accommodation. The Board has been in place for about 43 years and it has not got a permanent place. It was put in place before EFCC and CCB. These are all federal government agencies that regulate one aspect of our lives or the other but the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board, which was put in place in 1973, up till now, has not got a permanent place”.
He continued: “Besides, the Board is not on a budget line, so you have to source for your income to be able to run the place, within our members. Meanwhile, until recently, the registered estate surveyors and valuers until 2010 were only about 2,100, as at 2013 it was only 3,119; but we have been able to bring it now to 4,053. So, you have only about 4,000 people serving a population of about 170million”.
Odudu equally intimated that in two week’s time, the Mekadolf formula implementation committee would be formally inaugurated. He explained that the Mekadolf Formula is one of four books published by the Board on framework that regulates very sensitive areas of the estate surveying and valuation practice, like assessment of compensation under the laws of the federation, assessment of estate duty, assessment of capital gains and so forth.
“These are very pertinent aspects of our profession. And when that book was published, we wanted to make sure that every member of our profession read the book and that even government departments got the book and read it. So we had to set up what we call the Mekadolf Formula Implementation Committee after getting a policy statement from the Board to enlighten people about what that committee is going to do. The committee will be inaugurated in about two weeks’ time. So, the policy has been published which will now be implemented in all the ministries throughout the federation”.