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Estate surveyors kick as Senate moves to regulate facility management

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
01 January 2018   |   4:23 am
Amid the clamour to ensure efficient and effective delivery of support services in the built environment, especially regulating and controlling facility management profession...

NIESV President, Patunola-Ajayi

Amid the clamour to ensure efficient and effective delivery of support services in the built environment, especially regulating and controlling facility management profession, the estate surveyors and valuers have raised objection to the plan.

They argued that the bill to establish Chartered Institute of Facility Management Nigeria, backed by some practitioners would conflict with an extant law of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration (NIESV) as well as Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON).

Promoted by members of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Nigeria chapter and Association of Facilities Management, Nigeria, the bill would set up a council that would moderate activities in the FM industry and promote facilities management, career and industry player.

In fact, the council have the responsibility of managing the institute and setting the standard of the education needed. The bill seeks to register persons and organizations seeking to practice facility management, set regulations and standards, inspect and certify facilities.

In a memorandum to the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, signed by the NIESV President, and ESVARBON Chairman, late Olayinka Sonaike, the bodies noted that there is already in existence ESVARBON, a regulatory body for the practice of estate surveying and valuation whereas its roles also captures the regulation of the practice of facilities management in the country.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 31(b) of the Estate Surveying and Valuation Regulations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 90 of 2014 as a supplementary to the above law clearly and specifically indicate the practice of Facilities Management as one of the profession’s area of core competence.

“Thus, there would be no need for the Council for Facilities Management or any other Council/Board under any guise which seek to regulate facility management without recourse to the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria.”

Specifically, the estate surveyors stated that the passage of the proposed bill would amount to sheer duplication as it already exists/resides in the Estate Surveying and Valuation practice. “The bill remains obnoxious, injurious to the society and would also not be in the general interest of the Nigerian public as it would give rise to a huge job loss in the real estate sector thereby eroding the functions of estate surveyors and valuers as well as several other professionals such as the quantity surveyors, engineers, builders, procurement officers and managers.”

They also observed that that there exists a direct bearing between asset value and facilities management and recourse to the prescribed guidance of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), which stipulates accountability and transparency in the Public Sector Financial Reporting to which, this bill completely negates.

But IFMA Nigeria chapter has expressed support for bill, urging that other professional bodies should be carried along in its operations and structures.

In its submission to the Senate committee and endorsed by President, Pius Iwundu, an engineer and General Secretary Lekan Akinwumi, an estate surveyor, the group said that facility management being a multi-disciplinary profession, should put into consideration in registration, IFMA members in Nigeria who have undergone various levels of training, qualification and certifications.

IFMA also wants other qualifications from professional bodies such as NIESV, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), and Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) to be considered, as there exist a global collaboration between Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and IFMA.

It further submits that representatives of other relevant professional bodies should constitute the governing council for facility management of Nigeria.