Stakeholders urge estate surveyors to shun misconduct
• Lagos seeks out of court settlement on LASRERA law dispute
The Lagos State Government and other stakeholders have charged estate surveyors to avoid acts and transactions that can bring the institution into disrepute.
The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), led the charge at the 29th edition of the Johnwood Ekpenyong memorial lecture and induction of new fellows organised by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) in Lagos.
He stated that with the induction, the new inductees have become the leaders and beacons of light in the estate surveying and valuation profession. He appealed to the practitioners to uphold the ethics of the profession.
Moyosore, described the late Ekpenyong, as a man who set the standards for professionalism and integrity, which practitioners must strive to maintain.
He urged the institution to amend some sections of its law in line with the present-day realities, especially the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Act, an old law with obsolete section 16 (4) on sanctions, which awards N100 fine for persons liable under the act and others.
He noted that the penalty would not deter offenders, adding that the institution also needs to publish disciplinary proceedings of members in national newspapers.
“There is no hiding place for you and you must conduct yourself with utmost dignity.
He said the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) law, has brought NIESV in collusion with the state authorities as the institution approached the court to challenge the power of the state to pass the law, adding that as the matter still pends in court, parties need to rob minds for an amicable resolution.
He emphasised that the intention of the government was to capture, and regulate transactions for accountability and good governance, as well as identify everyone doing business in the real estate sector and have them on its database, but not to regulate estate surveyors and valuers.
The state’s Attorney General told practitioners that opportunity is available for the institution and government to engage and reach a compromise. He further said the outcome of the compromise could lead to the settlement of the case and possible amendment of the LASRERA law.
“The power to regulate estate surveyors and valuers resides in the institution. The objective of NIESV and government is the same, which is essential to have an industry where there is fidelity, honesty, equity and fair play.
“Even though we are in court, this is a matter that if we sit down, we can resolve. I don’t see any difficult issues there.
“Over the years, the government has observed an increase in property transactions within the state, while it is a positive development, it has unfortunately led to an increase in dubious or fraudulent transactions. There have been cases of fake agents and structural failures.
“This to any serious government is not acceptable and must be curbed. The government cannot subjugate its powers to institutions because no citizens will accept that,” he said.
He called for collaboration/meeting of minds with the institution to ensure that the people have access to fair, transparent and equitable property transactions.
NIESV President, Mr Johnbull Amayaevbo, said without integrity there couldn’t be the profession, adding that the institution frowns at any member that lacks integrity. He disclosed that its council expelled five members owing to indiscipline, integrity and professional misconduct.
“We will ensure capacity development, improve the welfare of members, research and development, as well as rebranding for the institution. We have professional associations within NIESV that regularly upgrade the competencies of members.
“The hallmark of true professionals is knowledge, competence, ethics and integrity. Absence of these attributes causes of disasters. Nigeria needs honest estate surveyors and valuers, who render consultancy and other professional real estate services, ” he said.
Past NIESV President, Dr Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi, advised practitioners to embrace competence and professionalism through specialisation in real estate practice.
He listed ways of enhancing competency and professionalism, which include receptive to new opportunities for services in developing fields, upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity and use of cutting edge technology to enhance services.
Patunola-Ajayi said: “ It has been ascertained that specialisation is the best way to foster the development of human capacity, boost distinction in practice and improve members’ contributions to the profession and society at large.”
The special guest of honour, a former Federal Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Lateef Olufemi Okunnu, who was instrumental to the establishment of the institution, urged practitioners to abide with the ethics of the profession.