FG charges surveyors to reconcile nation’s land evaluation with economic realities

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AS the Minister of Power, Works and Housing inaugurates reconstituted Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board (ESVARBON, last week, he charged the body to make the practice of estate valuation simple enough and responsive to the ordinary man on the Street.

Besides, Fashola tasks the new Board to spearheads development of open, nationwide valuation for real estate in different parts of the country and ensuring reconciliation of the disparity between the country’s land evaluation system and the current economic realities.

Noting that because of the global economic slowdown, property owners in some other jurisdictions were offering discounts on their properties to ensure optimum occupancy.

However, the Minister wondered why the reverse was currently the case in  Nigeria, where, according to him, the economy was being greatly challenged by tight capital.

“For me, I think the most important lessons that I like to share at this inauguration is to pose the question to you whether the current land evaluation system and values are consistent with the realities of our economy. You, as experts, must answer that question.

“Moreover, in a very challenging economy where cash is clearly tight, is the market value really responding appropriately? Are these values consistent with reality? Why are we not seeing rates and rents and values drop? Why are we having many houses unoccupied where people are looking for accommodation?”, he asked.

The Minister, who noted that property owners in the country had often argued that properties were valued higher so they could have an impact on percentages and commissions, asked the reconstituted  board to work together to rebuild the economy by their efforts.

Recalling recent news that property sellers in the United Kingdom were, because of BREXIT, offering discounts to citizens, Fashola, who cited as proof that markets react to policies, added, “Many years ago our Stock Market was immune to policies. But you see today that we have a stock exchange that ranks with some of the best in the world because it reflects the realities of our economy in many respects”.

Emphasizing the importance of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in the economic growth of the country, Fashola declared, “These are people whose core professional mandate is really putting value on land. The main business that they undertake is the business of how land is turned from a dormant asset really into a valuable asset.

“The Ministry of Power Works and Housing employs a number of Estate Valuers for many reasons, as you all know.

Whether you are building new roads where we need to acquire Right-of-Way, sometimes compensation have to be paid for farmlands and all of that, you are the people we turn to for evaluation”, adding that some of the members were currently involved in the Second Niger Bridge project as valuers for the government.

Congratulating the Chairman and members of the reconstituted Board, Fashola who noted with pleasure the broad mix of experience and value that were brought to the Board, declared, “This Board has, among many other responsibilities, the responsibility for registering persons who are fit and qualified to serve and practice as Estate Surveyors and Valuers and also the responsibility to regulate the standard, the knowledge and general practice of the profession in our country.

“You are the people whose core professional mandate is really putting value on land. The main business that you undertake is the business of how land is turned from a dormant asset into a valuable asset and then all of those who are involved in one form of enterprise or the other must first of all appreciate the value of land as the major capital formation asset”, he said.

In his remarks, Chairman of the of the Board, Mr Olayinka Sonaike, thanked the Minister and the Federal government for the opportunity and privilege given the members to serve on the Board adding that the members of the profession were in a fit position to contribute to the economic growth of the country.

Requesting that the budgetary allocation to the Board be released to it expeditiously after the signing of the 2017 Appropriation Bill, the Chairman pledged that with the collaboration of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Board would carry out its job effectively.

“The Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers of Nigeria had already completed a database of properties in Lagos State with the intention to work in other states of the federation”, we are promising that the Board would continue to work toward reconciling the disparity between land evaluation system in the country and her economic realities.

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