NIESV renews calls for review of Land Use Act, ESVRBON Act

THE Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has renewed call for a review or abrogation of the Land Use Act.

The professional group made the call during a courtesy visit led by its President, Mr Emmanuel Okas Wike, to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, in his office in Abuja.

Making the appeal, Wike, who was accompanied by the national executives and trustees of the institution, described the Land Use Act of 1978 as “simply inimical” to housing provision in Nigeria, saying it has now become compulsory to either review or abrogate the 43-year old law to promote growth in the sector.

Besides, the president of NIESV also requested the support of the minister for the review of the Estate Surveyors & Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria Decree No. 24 of 1975, now CAP E13 LFN 2007 which enabled the practice of the profession of estate surveying and valuation in Nigeria.

Justifying the need for the review, Wike stated that the non-estate surveyors and valuers have been capitalising on some lacuna in the law to delve into valuation, which is one of members’ core competencies.

He reiterated that estate surveyors and valuers are the only professionals trained and equipped with competences, and enabled by law to practice valuation.

He appealed to the minister to lend his voice in support of the age -long request for the creation of the position of the Valuer-General of the Federation, just like the Auditor-General, Accountant-General, Solicitor-General and Surveyor-General.

Establishment of the office of Valuer-General, he said, was capable of enhancing the contribution of the profession to the development of the nation.

Responding, the minister appreciated the effort and the initiative of the group concerning some of the pressing issues. He also assured the institution of his willingness to strengthen the partnership between the ministry and the institution to proffer lasting solutions to some of the prevailing issues.

On the issue of the Land Use Act, Fashola pointed out the major reasons that brought about the Act in the first place. The minister said there was nothing wrong with the Act but defects in its administration.

“And if the way it’s been operated can be amended then it will ameliorate most of the issues often raised,” Fashola said

Referring to the minister’s suggestion of three-month rent by property owners as against the three years rent’s collection as a way of making affordable homes accessible for Nigerians in urban centres, Wike said the professional body  viewed the suggestion from a different perspective.

Citing developed countries where monthly rent is being practiced, he mentioned that the mortgage system in those countries was effective and entrenched, adding that the policy enhanced property development.

In Nigeria, he said the policy would assuredly impact property investment negatively when putting the uncertainty and volatility of the property market in consideration.

According to him, residential property development as an investment comprised various components, probing what would be the impact of the proposed policy on the other components.

On the unreliability of the 17 million housing deficit being circulating in Nigeria, which many said lacked scientific proof, Wike said the institution was in total agreement with the minister.

The NIEVS boss seized the opportunity to reaffirm the importance of databank and the institution’s commitment to the provision of property databank for all state capitals and major cities in Nigeria.

“During our 49th Annual Conference in Lagos, we presented a copy of the second edition of our Property Data Bank for Abuja to the honourable minister. I wish to announce to you that we are putting finishing touches to a comprehensive version which captures other state capitals,’ he said

The NIESV president assured the minister that plans were ongoing to carry out enumeration of wasting and abandoned properties across the state capitals, most of which, he noted, belonged to the government at various levels, with recommendations on what could be done with them.

“I want to reassure the honourable minister that our institution and its members are willing and ready to continue to cooperate and partner with the ministry in the implementation of the developmental initiatives of the administration, particularly in housing development and provision,” Wike said.


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