NIESV canvasses monarchs’ involvement in urban, building control
Topping the list of NIESV’S concern was the issue of building collapse, urban renewal and regeneration, non-appointment of Valuer-General of Federation, lack of patronage by the authority and how to enhance real estate in Lagos, among others
Considering their place in mobilising their subjects, the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos State Chapter, has called on governments to involve traditional rulers in any urban development and building control process.
This, the group said became imperative for the success of any town or city regeneration programme.
NIESV made the call last week during a visit to the Palace of Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Osuolale Akiolu.
Topping the list of NIESV’S concern was the issue of building collapse, urban renewal and regeneration, non-appointment of Valuer-General of Federation, lack of patronage by the authority and how to enhance real estate in Lagos, among others.
Leading the team was the Chairman of the Institution, Offiong Samuel Ukpong, who, in retrospect, expressed satisfaction on how buildings that dotted the Lagos Island from colonial days, still stand tall, while some that are barely 10-20 years old have suffered either total or partial collapse.
Ukpong, who stated that the body is convinced that the monarch is worried and disturbed about the frequent news of collapsed buildings in the state noted that no reasonable king will be happy to frequently hear that his children are often killed in mischievous circumstances and buried in rubbles.
“Kabiyesi, we, as the foremost professionals in the real estate Industry and the built environment are equally very worried and disturbed too. We often ask ourselves if any member of our institution has ever been involved in any of the collapsed buildings incidences? The only answer we have so far received is, none.
“Our dear king, when we looked at the Marina skyline and found those multiple storey buildings dotting Broad Street and Marina and asked, why have they not collapsed till date? We found out that most of them were project managed by estate surveyors and valuers-the professionals that are vast in land acquisition, site selection, feasibility and viability appraisal, project management, property management (according to the British) or facility management (according to the Americans).
“The Europeans brought technology to us, practised them while they were here, taught us how to practice them and when they left we refused to continue”, he said, adding that it is disappointing that suddenly, every other professional in the built environment thought that what the estate surveyors and valuers know and could do, can be done by them. So, estate surveyors now became known, called and addressed as estate agents today.
“We can actually go back to reclaim our lost position and glory by stipulating that no development in Lagos State above four floors should be approved without the inclusion of a consultant who by training and experience knows what to do and carries the enormous responsibility of his profession in every project”, Ukpong pleaded.
He listed greed, currency devaluation, dependence on foreign building materials and preference for foreign practitioners over their indigenous counterparts, among other factors as contributors to the problems in real estate sector.
Moreover, he regretted that the estate surveyors and valuers are often accused of being responsible for the high cost of renting properties, as being responsible for the tenant not paying their rent, as being responsible for fixing high rents, as being responsible for charging high fees and in fact, for not providing houses for people to live.
“We are not responsible for squatter settlements because we ought to have been development partners but we are not. The cost of land, land preparation, taxes and levies paid on land are neither under our control nor advice.
“We also do not determine accommodation density nor are we involved in the design of the building yet we shall be managing it when all others exit. We are not involved at the construction stages, neither is our advice sought on areas of cost savings or elimination of dead spaces or unnecessary facilities,” he added.
The group finally pleaded that the monarch should help them by encouraging all citizens of the State to patronize them for increased prosperity in their real estate investments; partner with them on urban renewal of Lagos Island and other areas of the state requiring regeneration.