In recognition of the inability of the country to make after-development-plans, the National Council of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has called on the Lagos State government to consider its members as managers of infrastructure in the ambitious Eko Atlantic city project.
Coming on the heels of the just concluded national council meeting of the institute in Lagos, Rowland Abonta, president of NIESV disclosed that for the Lagos State government to get value from the volume of investment made in Eko Atlantic City, they are recommending a partnership with the professional body.
“I am talking about the infrastructures in Eko Atlantic City as well as the public buildings in Eko Atlantic City and of course the management of that city as an estate, as these fall under the purview of estate surveyors and valuers to manage.”
To buttress his point, Abonta maintained that the law that registers estate surveyors and valuers, has a provision in it for facility management and that by their training, they are properly trained to manage such facilities in Nigeria.
He added that they are the foremost profession in the field of facility management; as a result, they are asking to partner with the government of Lagos State, particularly in the management of Eko Atlantic City as they have the professional knowhow when it comes to that.
Facility management, he said, is a multidisciplinary profession, and that there is no special law that has registered anybody as a facility manager, except the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Board (ESVABON) Act of 1975, which made provision for facility management by valuers.
During a courtesy visit to the Lagos State government, represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr Ade Akinsanya, the NIESV council appreciated the government for employing over 150 of their members as well as the patronage extended to their members in the private sector.
The NIESV president requested that they are also looking forward to further invitation by the Lagos State government for the valuation of the remaining infrastructures within the state.
They also took time out to educate their host about the functions of their profession ranging from land administration, to valuation of assets, keeping of records of assets, facility management of infrastructures and quite a number of other services. And at the same time, they extended a partnership invitation to the government on the forthcoming conference.
“Part of the programme that culminated to this meeting is the interview of new members into the professional grade of the institution; we have about 116 candidates that were interviewed and quite a number of them passed the interview as future estate surveyors that would be inducted in the nearest into the institute; that is, in the month of December they would be inducted as estate surveyors.
“And of course, we know that the entire Lagos State is a metropolitan city as well as an exemplary city in our nation; many other cities borrow a cue from here on how to run their cities. As a professional body that is foremost in the management of the built environment, our coming to Lagos is historic because the profession itself started here in Lagos by the first generation of estate surveyors who trained in Britain and came back to Nigeria to form a body that is similar to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.”
Still on the choice of Lagos for the forthcoming conference, he said that the state holds a dear place in their hearts as more than 60 per cent of their members practice in Lagos.
On the credibility of land data and housing stock in Nigeria, Abonta confessed that it is an area that the country is not doing too well. According to him, no particular government in Nigeria has been able to do a proper housing survey. You need a proper survey to know what the housing stock is, he said, however, we depend on foreign figures foisted on us
As a solution, he remarked that they were involved in advocacy, to encourage the government to be serious with housing issues so as to aid real estate practice in the city of Lagos and the nation in general.
“We are partnering with government, making offer to government that NIESV is ready to assist in conducting housing survey nationwide. By God’s grace we have branches across the nation; all we need is to mobilize our members in those branches and they would be able to easily capture the data in housing, which will be very useful to government.
“Presently, our research and development committee is embarking on a new survey for the purpose of establishing a real estate data for the city of Abuja; we will not hesitate to do the same thing in Lagos too, if we have the encouragement, particularly from the government.”
The Valuer indicated that since his resumption of office as the president of the institute, that he and his excos have been able to instill discipline in the way members conduct their businesses. NIESV today, he said, is now much more known than most other professional bodies.
Also, he said that they have been able to engage several other categories of professionals that in one way or the other relate with the institute.
He narrated that as at the time of their taking over the realms of affairs of the institute, the construction of the NIESV secretariat in Abuja was at the DPC (damp-proof course) level, but that presently, he can say authoritatively, they are going higher in the five story structure.
“We have done the first floor slab and we are continuing. It is a five-storey building and our target is that NIESV will move into that building before the end of this administration
“Our membership has increased; within these eight months of assumption, we have interviewed over 200 members, we have received foreign professionals; just last week some professionals came from the United States for an exchange programme in the area of capacity building.
During the courtesy visit, the Commissioner appreciated their presence and assured that the state government will try its best to assist in whatever way possible.
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