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UK lauds RICS professional training, nation building

By Victor Gbonegun
02 July 2018   |   4:00 am
For taking a leading role in promoting professional standards and benefiting the society, the British high commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright has described initiatives...
Paul Arkwright

British High Commissioner, Paul Arkwright

For taking a leading role in promoting professional standards and benefiting the society, the British high commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright has described initiatives put in place to train young professionals by the Nigeria Group of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS) as a positive step toward the nations’ transformation.

RICS had launched a scheme titled, ‘The cities for future challenge’ initiative in partnership with the UK National Commission for the Association of Commonwealth Universities, offering opportunity to win 50,000 pounds by challenging young professionals, start ups and students to use surveying, urban design, architecture or engineering to solve issues such as rapid urbanisation, climate change and resource scarcity as part of activities to mark its 150 years of establishment.

Already a number of exciting entries from Sub-Saharan Africa have made the shortlist of 48. Also, the institute unveiled the ‘Pride in the profession’ initiative that showcases the positive impact that surveyors have made to the society.

Speaking at a the 150 years celebration of RICS which featured dinner and awards for distinguished members and past chairmen at the weekend in Lagos; Mr. Arkwright explained that the positive, socio-economic and environmental impact that surveys and projects of the kinds by fellows shows that the future is bright.

He commended the rehabilitation of Ligali Ayorinde Street by RICS fellow Akinola Olawore, which has led to significant economic growth in the neighbourhood with investment of over $600million and $67million in commercial and residential respectively from the upgrade of just one kilometer of road.

“The second was the first valuation and identification of infrastructure assets in Lagos by RICS member; Jimmy Omotosho. The valuation involved surveying 698 roads and bridges that covered a distance of 687km”.

The high commissioner expressed confidence that Nigeria and the UK could strengthen an already deep friendship and boost each other prosperity in coming years. He appreciated the government of Lagos state for rapidly changing the skyline and ambitious reclamation and building projects stressing the states’ future is promising.

Earlier in his speech, the Chairman, RICS Nigeria Group, Yinka Omotosho said the institute since inception of the Nigeria group in the 1960’s, the institute has trained members who are viewed as gold standard by major financial and world governments in terms of professional regulation in the property market.

“In Nigeria, RICS has been doing its best to advance the objectives of the institution by conducting assessments of qualified applicants for membership under set criteria and organizing various continuing development programmes as well as creating awareness about the institute.

It also provides platform for members to contribute to professional issues and national discuss on the built environment and development of the property market”, he said.

Pride of the profession awards for leadership, service and excellence were awarded to; Mr. Akin Olawore, Emeka Eleh, Femi Onasile, William Odudu, Yinka Ogunsulire and Louise Brooke-Smith among others while all the 28 past chairmen of the institute in Nigeria bagged awards of service.

Members also cut the anniversary cake to the admiration of the gathering.