Faced with a harsh operating environment and the need to key into global best practices, estate surveyors and valuers have launched a comprehensive reform programme that they believe would transform and reposition their institution.
The reform scheme is part of recommendations adopted after a retreat by major stakeholders at Ada, Osun State recently, but now endorsed by the National Executive Council of the body. The recommendations, according to reports, will form the thrust of the new administration agenda. Frontline consultants, including KPMG Professional Services and ROSABEL facilitated the programme.
Newly installed 19th President of the institution, Mr. Bode Adediji, who was recently handed the mantle of leadership, is pushing the fresh attempt at reinvigorating the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV). He told newsmen that he was looking ahead to bring change to the profession.
Already, a 10-member committee headed by the President to champion and pilot the reform programmes was inaugurated last week. Members, drawn from the rank and file of the institution’s membership, are to be involved in the implementation of the reform and engage relevant consultants including lawyers and business management advisers to guide the body. Membership of the committee includes Chief Charles Adebiyi, a past president, Mrs. Claire Chizea, Samuel Ukpong, Akin Olawore, Chudi Ubosi and Baren Epega.
Among the key planks in the reform blueprint are: changing public perception of the profession; overhauling its operational framework; and generating workable interface with government and agencies on policies and programmes.
Adediji said: “We are aware that our public image is not what it used to be. We want to change the public perception of estate surveyors and valuers, which as of today is synonymous with estate agents.
According to him, the practice has been dominated by sole proprietorships usually comprising one man, one office and one secretary. “We want them to transit to medium size, big size or mega companies. We are saying that the future of this profession lies in bigger size operations, rather than one-man businesses.
“We plan to educate our members that it is in the long run not profitable to operate a small firm under a sole proprietorship, especially when you view it against global best practices. We have to create a legal and administrative template to facilitate willing members to key into that.
“If need be, we’re going to get a group of lawyers so that when people consult them, they won’t pay the normal professional fees. We are looking at business management companies that will also midwife all these small companies into bigger firms. The institution would shoulder some of the responsibilities or assist members wanting to buy into the merger plan.”
He explained that the institution plans to woo government and agencies towards ensuring that estate surveyors are given priority in the affairs of governance, especially in land administration policies.
“Today, majority of our members still have little or no input into major government policies and programmes that are relevant to our sector. For instance, on the land review panel, there is only one estate surveyor out of the 15 members. Yet, the centerpiece of land administration in any country revolves around the role of the estate surveying and valuation practice. We find it strange that even government and public see us merely as estate agents. We intend to correct that impression by rebranding ourselves, and then we would start having inroad into such beneficial alliance,” Adediji said.
Reacting to the incursion of quacks, he said the institution would adopt a multifaceted approach by educating members of the public on the dangers inherent in patronizing quacks as well as set up constructive interface between qualified professionals and the quacks so as to bring them directly under the control and supervising role of the qualified ones.
“For instance, Lagos State government has come up with a law on estate agent practitioners, we need to use its as a pilot scheme, which would be duplicated in other states. If people must engage in estate agency, they must engage under an enabling law that can specify reward and sanctions.
“If we have neigbourhood control as it happens in developed countries, such as having dominant practicing estate surveyors within area such as Victoria Island, it would be difficult for quacks to benefit. We plan in the next few weeks to kick-start a synergy among the firms in Victoria Island through a programme of interaction and building of property database.”
Adediji also endorsed the decision of the Federal Government to create a separate Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, since the critical problems in the areas of housing, urban development and land administration would get the exclusive engagement of the ministry and the performance in that sector can be better evaluated.
50-Year-Old Man Docked For N8.5m Land Fraud
A 50-year-old man, Tunde Alabi, has appeared before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos over alleged N8.5 million land fraud.
Alabi of no fixed address, is facing a four-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretences, entry by violence and stealing.
He however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecutor, SP Idowu Osungbure, told the court that the defendant committed the offences sometime in 2020, at Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos.
Osungbure said the complainant, Mr Nnona Ejiofor, bought two plots of land valued at N8.5 million located at Ibeju-Lekki from the defendant who claimed it was a family land.
She said that the defendant issued a receipt of the sale to Ejiofor and he started constructing a building on the land.
The prosecutor stated that the defendant unlawfully entered the land and destroyed building materials worth N5 million belonging to the complainant.
Osungbure said that it was later discovered that the defendant was not the real owner of the land.
The offences contravened sections 411, 314 and 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 (revised) and Section 3 of the Properties Protection Law of Lagos State, 2016.
The Tide source reports that Section 314 is punishable by 15 years imprisonment for obtaining under false pretences, while 287 stipulates three years imprisonment for the offence of stealing.
The Tide source further reports that Section 3(4) of the Properties Protection Law of Lagos State, 2016 provides for 10 years imprisonment for the offence of entry by violence.
Chief Magistrate Olatunbosun Adeola admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Adeola held that the sureties must submit copies of their National Identification Number (NIN), six months bank statements and Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) card.
She further directed that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction, be gainfully employed with an affidavit of means and evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
Adeola adjourned the case until Aug. 3 for mention.
Domestic Servant Docked For Stealing Employer’s Property
A 26-year-old domestic servant, Sharon Francis, was docked on Thursday at a Kaduna Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing her employer’s jewellery and other items valued N700,000.
The defendant, who resides at Ali Akilu area of Kaduna, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and theft.
The prosecutor, Insp. Chidi Leo, told the court that the defendant and two others, still at large, committed the offences on May 15 at Malali, Kaduna.
He alleged that the defendant and her accomplices stole clothes, jewellery, three pieces of watches and two television sets, all worth N700,000.
According to Leo, the items belong to Mrs Esther Paul.
He said that the defendant absconded after stealing the items but was later arrested in Niger.
The alleged offences are punishable under Sections 285 and 271 of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, 2017.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty.
The Magistrate, Ibrahim Emmanuel, granted him bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Emmanuel also ordered that the sureties should be blood relation of the defendant and have means of livelihood.
He added that the sureties should reside within Kaduna and show evidence of tax payment to the state government.
The magistrate adjourned the case until August 20 for hearing.
Ground Rents: Asokoro, Maitama Property Owners Highest Debtors, Says FCTA
The FCT Administration Debt Recovery Committee on Thursday said property owners in Asokoro, Industrial Area II and Maitama Districts are the highest ground rent debtors.
Mr Muhammad Sule, the Chairman, Media and Publicity sub-Committee Director, Information and Communication, disclosed this in a statement, he signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja.
According to him, property owners in Asokoro and Maitama are owing 10.67 per cent, 9.43 per cent and 9.29 per cent out of the total sum owed.
Sule said the committee was already fine-tuning legal documentations to take all property owners who had failed to pay, despite repeated warnings, to court for prosecution, revocation or outright forfeiture.
He also said that committee in the process of doing its work had discovered that many of the debtors were title holders in Asokoro, Industrial Area II and Maitama Districts, considered to be highbrow areas in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.
According to him, property owners in Asokoro District alone constitute 10.67 per cent of the ground rents defaulters.
“While the title holders in Industrial Area II and Maitama Districts comprise 9.43 per cent and 9.29 per cent, respectively.
“As the work of the Coordinating Committee on the Recovery of Outstanding Ground Rents of N29,506,643,943.98 owed the FCT Administration gathers momentum.
“Findings by the administration revealed that property owners in the highbrow areas of Asokoro, Industrial Area II and Maitama Districts are the highest debtors owing 10.67, 9.43 and 9.29 percent out of the total sum owed.
Also, property owners in other districts, such as Central Business Districts, Industrial Area I and Extension, as well as Wuse I and II are owing the Administration the tune of 8.21 per cent, 5.18 per cent, 5.1 per cent, and 4.81 per cent, respectively.”
He explained that title holders in Garki I and II, Katampe and Jabi Districts are in default of 3.4 per cent, 3 per cent, 2.21 per cent, and 2.15 per cent, respectively.
Similarly, he said property owners in other districts like Kukwaba, Gwarinpa I, Gudu, Kado, Karmo, Katampe Extention, Utako, Mabushi, Durumi, Daki-Biyu, Guzape, Jahi, Dutse Wuye, and Institutions and Research are owing various degrees of percentages.
“Thus, the committee is committed to carrying out its assignment as mandated by the FCT Administration whilst all title holders must honour their obligation to clear the debts.
“It is more honourable and responsible for property owners to rush to clear their outstanding debts because it is not going to be business as usual as the government needs these funds to fast-track the infrastructural development of the FCT.
The Tide source reports that the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusad, recently inaugurated a debt recovery committee with the mandate to recover N29 billion outstanding debts owed the FCT Administration.
The committee was directed to focus interest on ground rents and other sundry fees in the Land Administration Department as well as other stakeholder’s departments.
Meanwhile, the committee has since dissolved into sub-committees of Publicity, Administration, Legal and Finance, respectively, for effective and diligent execution of its mandate.
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