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Valuers hold talks with Fashola, propose roadmap for housing reform

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Property & Environment Editor
07 August 2017   |   3:58 am
Top executives of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) made the submission during a visit to the Minister, Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola in Abuja, where they also made case for...

Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) 1st vice president, Rowland Abonta; Minister for State, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri; NIESV president, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola during the meeting between the ministry and the institution in Abuja.

At a time when half of the world’s six billion people are living in cities and facing unprecedented growth of urban population, mainly in the developing countries like Nigeria, land economists last week proposed that the federal government create enabling environment for private sector delivery of housing as against direct construction by ministries, departments and agencies.

Top executives of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) made the submission during a visit to the Minister, Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola in Abuja, where they also made case for the reactivation of Federal Land Information System (FELIS) as a tool for efficient and effective land administrations.

In the delegation led by NIESV President, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi, accompanied by the National Executive Council, they sought for the inclusion of budgetary provision in 2018 budget for the valuation of the ministry’s asset for International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) compliance and Asset Tracking and Management Project (ATMP) purposes.

Minister of Finance, had issued a directive asking all MDAs to collate an inventory of all the federal government assets. The directives necessitate the involvement of estate surveyors and valuers for the proper description of the asset with their locations and determination of the value of these assets for realistic asset inventory presentation.

Estate surveyors envisaged that the meeting would open a new channel of synergy and profitable collaboration between the ministry and Institution, which will result in a more robust and efficient management of national assets and ensure ministry mandate delivery.

They recounted their role as a stakeholder in national land resource development and management including, advising the government on land and housing policies and their implementation as well as managing/administering publicly held landed properties and properties leased to other private entities by government.

“We are aware that the federal government, since the colonial days has large landed property holdings across the nation for the purposes of governance and its operations which required professional management and administration in order to ensure optimum efficiency and greatest value for money through realization of land-based revenues,” according to Patunola-Ajayi.

He said: “The estate surveyors and valuers are therefore, the best equipped and skilled professionals for the realization of effectives and efficient land administration. This informed the establishment of the department of lands and housing development in your ministry staffed with professional estate surveyor and valuers.

“This inactivity has negatively affected land, transactions which have also negatively impacted developments in the national economy which has the capacity of slowing down the recovery process from recession.”

Specifically, the land professionals believe that the ministry’s policy on direct construction of houses is not in tandem with National Housing Policy of 2012. “The implication is that if budgetary allocation is applied to providing enabling environment, by way of serviced and titled land provisions as well as access to mortgages, this approach would have attracted the private sector capital resulting into provision of more housing units.

“This approach will surely make the housing units affordable and ensure a much more efficient utilization of the ministry’s budget. Housing is a basic human need that affect man and his standard of living in any society; and the housing delivery activities have the capacity of boosting the national economy through job creation and other value chains,” he said.

They observed that the National Housing Roadmap, which was launched as part of the take off of the National Housing Policy in 2016, largely excluded the input of the estate surveyor and valuer despite the relevance of his competence in such a document of National importance.

“It is desirable that our profession be involved in the implementation of the plan which seeks to focus on mass housing for minimum wages. The availability of housing and real estate data on a national basis requires deep injection of capital in building the social infrastructure that will amongst others also ascertain the housing need and the demographic information of the various Geographical administrative zones of the Federation.
In the absence of this, bouquets of data can be sourced from our membership on a commercial basis from time to time.”

Fashola appreciated and thanked the institution for coming to engage them on important issues of development. He also assured that the ministry would do its best concerning the new accounting standards.

He stated that all the valuations in the ministry are been undertaken by estate surveyors, who professionally have the responsibility. While charging estate surveyors to create more jobs in the area of estate management, Fashola believes that field can create more skilled jobs in the country.

The minister said that the hallmark of governance is about accountability and prosperity, which the government aspire to achieve the public and private sector.

He tasked the institution on the need to create a database of predictable rates of every piece of land so that people can easily know the value of land in any location, which will help minimize compensation disputes in the country.