In view of the plummeting fortunes of Nigeria’s oil economy arising from the falling oil price at the international market, estate surveyors under the aegis of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos State branch, has called on the Federal Government to give priority to land economy which, the institution reasons, is a growth sector of the economy. The estate surveyors contended that the way out for government in this connection was for it to recognize estate surveyors’ strategic economic importance and give them their deserved position as land economists who have the capacity and professional competence to manage land economy.
Offiong Samuel Ukpong, the new chairman of the branch, who stated this at the inauguration of the new executives in Lagos recently, flayed the federal government for neglecting estate surveyors on land issues, noting that, as land economists, they were hardly consulted when decisions on land and development were taken.
Ukpong argued that “if Nigeria shall be among the 10 most developed economies in the world by 2030, about 15 years from now, then we must begin to be more pragmatic in handling issues of our country, towns, cities and villages” which are under the purview of estate surveying and valuation.
He therefore, assured that the focus of his tenure as chairman of the institution would be advocacy through which “we shall tell the government and policy makers to respect the law that set up the profession of estate surveying and valuation in Nigeria”.
The new chairman emphasized that governments at the federal and state levels should appoint them as ministers and commissioners respectively, positing that land economics was greater than money economics, hence prominence should be given to the former in the country.
Continuing, Ukpong said he and his team would tell the government to create an office for an Estate Surveyor and Valuer General of the Federation with similar office created in each state of the federation, hoping that the Lagos State government would allocate land to the institution on which they would create what he called “Nobility Estate” for the members.
Ealier, Bode Adediji, former national president of the institution, had tasked the professionals on keying into the change mantra of the present administration, saying that the area he wanted them to change was in what he called “rent economy”.
“You should not depend on this kind of economy to survive. You have to produce. So, go into property development, facility management, project management or venture capital”, he advised, arguing that “if all of us are only interested in looking for tenants for the property built by Mr A, I tell you, that kind of attitude or practice is not sustainable in the present dispensation and platform of change”.
Adediji, who was chairman of the event, lamented that Nigeria has, all these years, depended on two main areas—petroleum and trade – which were not sustainable, noting that the country imported virtually everything, and has therefore, lost the capacity to produce and feed itself.
He pointed out that the real estate sector was highly neglected whereas it would have served as a platform which, from one regime to another, would have been used to create employment for young people including engineers, architects, plumbers, estate surveyors, builders, town planners, etc.
Source: BusinessDay – Chuka Uroko