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Lagos estate surveyors make case for office of valuer-general

By Tunde Alao
01 February 2016   |   1:30 am
DRASTIC action, which must come within land policy, is needed if the Lagos government is to attract serious real estate investors, members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors (NIESV), Lagos chapter stressed last week. They advocated for the creation of the valuer-general office, like the office of surveyor-general, attorney general, tutor-general as a means…

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DRASTIC action, which must come within land policy, is needed if the Lagos government is to attract serious real estate investors, members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors (NIESV), Lagos chapter stressed last week.

They advocated for the creation of the valuer-general office, like the office of surveyor-general, attorney general, tutor-general as a means to sanitise the state’s land administration.

The valuer-general sets the standards for the provision of a world-class valuation system and ensures it meets the needs of community, which includes landholders, members of the public, ratepayers, land tax clients and state and local government.

The state’s chapter chairman, Mr. Offiong Sam Ukpong, made the call during their visit to the Land Bureau, Alausa, last week, where he also solicited for partnership between the two organisations.

He noted that investors are always critical of the policy in place, and the appointment of valuer-general would create room for dependable investment analysis.

“Investors may be skeptical to believe what they may be hearing from other people about the land situation and data. But any information giving out from office of valuer-general would be authentic and make sense. It’s important to have government’s assets inventory.

According to him, Lagos created office of the tutor-general that enhanced secondary education in the state, adding that other states are emulating it, and such landmark should be made in the property industry by creating the office of valuer-general.

He also noted that in Ghana, valuers sign certification any time transactions take place, “Therefore, we want practitioners to be incorporated into certification process, even, if only three of our members.”

Besides, the surveyors criticised tax being paid on Land Use Charge (LUC), arguing that the tax should not be assessed on capital value, but rather on income value.

Ukpong also requested that estate surveyors should be involved in the evaluation process, saying that as professionals, they are in better position to assist government to ensure that equitable valuation is achieved.

Another request by the professionals was the approval for lands they have been clamouring for, saying that: “As estate surveyors, we manage people’s estate and homes, without having our own estate. We therefore, imploring your office to grant us the grace to have our own land by which we can build our own estate”.

Responding, the Permanent Secretary, Land Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro, hinted that the Bureau is contemplating registration of all estate brokers to check fraudulent activities associated with estate agency business.

“Many atrocities are being committed as a result of middlemen’s activities. Hence, the decision to register all estate brokers. This will eliminate fake document and other fraudulent activities, without precluding people coming directly to transact their businesses. But for those who may want to come through the brokers, they will get genuine services and we must know the brokers”, explained the Permanent Secretary.

On the issue of land use charge, Agoro explained that the involvement of the Ministry for Finance is creating “some grey areas that we would soon resolve.” He added that its incorrect for land use charge to be calculated on capital value, but rather on income value.

Speaking on the efforts by the Bureau to sanitise the land administration, the Executive Secretary, Land bureau, Mr. Olukayode Ogunnubi, said the government is making efforts to reposition the bureau.