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Estate surveyors charge new fellows on ethical standards, public good

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NIESV president, Sir Emmanuel Wike

As part of efforts to strengthen the practice, members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) have been urged to adopt the highest ethical standards in their pursuit of public interest and good.

They were also charged to protect the public interest and enhance the common good in the discharge of their duties in the private or public sector so that society can feel and benefit from the impact of their training and expertise.

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A past president of the institution, Mr. Emeka Eleh, who gave the advice during the 27th John Wood Ekpenyong Memorial lecture and 2021 fellows induction organised by NIESV in Lagos, also urged professional associations and regulatory boards to ensure their members operate or serve to high ethical standards and protect the common good by ensuring high moral, ethical and professional standards expected of them and sanctioning them where they fail to do so.

Eleh said the poor perception of members and services in the public eye negatively affects the image of the profession.

He further urged the fellows to address this image problem by ensuring that members operate to high ethical standards, imbibing good service delivery, especially the model that protects the public interest and the public good.

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“We must bear in mind that any time we give the wrong opinion either for rent passing or sale prices or when we give a wrong opinion of the value of a property during a valuation process to satisfy a client or for pecuniary gain or anytime, we generally act unethically, it only distorts the system, damages trust in the profession and ultimately does not enhance the public good.

“Such advice may serve the narrow personal interest of the client (and the surveyor involved) but will certainly not be in the public interest as the surveyor would have only foisted a wrong opinion on the public domain.

Eleh, who spoke as the keynote speaker, said the institution must continue to lead advocacy on vital
issues of interest such as affordable housing, land reform, and property taxation.

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“There is also a need to champion the enthronement of new and better ways of rendering our services. Of particular note is the need for the establishment of an active multiple listing service and the creation of a standardised databank of real estate rates and yields, which will assist us in valuation advisory work,” he said.

According to him, professional associations and regulatory boards should hold the government accountable where they take obvious wrong policy decisions at variance with the constitution or established rules.

“This could be in form of championing further interactions with the government, public statements, interviews, and in the final analysis pursue the legal option to compel the government to take the right course in defence of the common good.

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“More often than not, professional associations shy away from these roles for fear of antagonising the government but in doing so it is eventually the public good and the interest of the society as a whole that will suffer,” Eleh added.

The Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Bode Adediji noted that the public good couldn’t be ignored if the nation wants to attain greater height.

Earlier, NIESV president, Sir Emmanuel Wike, said Ekenyong is an example of courage, dedication, integrity, purpose, and character. “He was a diligent pacesetter who began the pioneering task of putting up the structure that had made estate surveying and valuation practice popular and recognisable in the country, “ he said.

Wike stated that the lecture was established in appreciation of the groundbreaking and pioneering role of the symbol of the institution.

He commended the new fellows for attaining this worthy height and remarkable achievement through a professional career. Wike also urged them to build the institution of their dream.

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