Boosting Nigeria’s Economy Through Registration Of Estate Surveyors And Valuers

Based on their training and professional competence, those in the profession of estate surveying and valuation all over the world have been known to be key stakeholders towards economic growth. 

This group of people, who are known in the United States of America, as ‘’Appraisers’’, in the United Kingdom, as ‘’Chattered Surveyors’’, and in Nigeria, as ‘’Estate Surveyors and Valuers’’, are in many respects pivotal to the well being of their nation and the people. 

In Nigeria, estate surveyors and vlauers, usually go with a prefix ESV. They assume this title after the regulator of the profession, Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON), has considered them fit and eventually registered them to practice as estate surveyors and valuers. 

To many, the roles of estate surveyors and valuers in both economic and social development in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. 

Primarily, their roles centre on land and all structures on the land. Both rural and urban dwellers need the services of an estate surveyor and valuer. 

Their services range from management and development of estates, determination of values of all descriptions on properties, carrying out feasibility studies and the appraisals of investments’ proposal and schemes affecting land and buildings. 

Buying, selling and leasing of land and landed properties are most challenging tasks being undertaken by estate surveyors and valuers. But for clients not to be misguided or misled by owners, they need to consult estate surveyors and valuers for his/her professional advice on any real estate matters. 

In addition, estate surveyors and valuers also advise clients on sales/purchase value of land and landed properties bought or sold. 

They help clients investigate title documents to the land and landed properties to be purchased. They also act in the best interest of clients in land matters. They help clients advertise their land and landed properties to prospective buyers. 

From the foregoing, it is clear that estate surveyors and valuers play vital roles in both private and public sectors. 

In sustaining economic growth and development in Nigeria, estate surveyors and valuers maintain both public and private assets and infrastructures. They formulate detailed planned prevention policy to the government for managing public infrastructures/assets. 

They also act as land economists for infrastructural development schemes. In formulating regional development master plan, they identify all various urban and rural issues in carrying out infrastructural development schemes in Nigeria.

With these responsibilities in mind, ESVARBON has vowed to continuously increase number of registered estate surveyors and valuers in the country. 

Notwithstanding the global challenge of COVID-19, ESVARBON, last week registered 333 persons. 

The occasion was the 43rd induction ceremony held in Lagos. 

In his opening address, Sir Nweke Umezuruike, the Board’s chairman, said: “For all of you being inducted today, you must consider yourself privileged too in the sense that you would be receiving your instrument of registration from he who has his signature on the largest number of certificates of registered persons than any other person, both now and probably for all time. Congratulations.” 

Umezuruike urged both the newly and registered estate surveyors and valuers and to always follow the path of integrity. 

“Let me commend my testimony to you for emulation. Make integrity your watchword and you will go far in your professional pursuit. 

“Some of you may be aware that I have held very key offices in the profession. Registrar 14 years, Assistant National Secretary of NIESV, 2nd and 1st Vice President NIESV, NIESV president (longest serving for almost three years), climaxed by ESVARBON chairmanship. 

“It was not money or wealth that propelled me; it was the desire to do things properly and honestly – in line with the motto of NIESV – honesty and devotion. You too can reach any height in the profession if you devote yourself to it”, he assured. 

Adamu Danladi Kasimu, the Board’s vice chairman, in his charge, noted that, the Nigerian economic space had witnessed tremendous changes. 

These changes, according to him, had elicited lots of challenges for practitioners of the profession both in the private and public sectors, saying there was need for dynamism in the way they are to be conducting their businesses. 

“There has never been a time when the dynamics and proper functioning of the real estate market requires the high standard of knowledge, diligence and application of contemporary tools by ESVS albeit to stave off competition from quacks than now.” 

Kasimu, who also chairs Investigation Panel of the Board, said that, the general rules of conduct issued by ESVARBON expect that every estate surveyor and valuer demonstrates to clients, consumers and the public high degree of honesty, integrity and professional standards that the Board proclaims, adding that, being able to show that you are qualified RSV or that your firm is regulated by the Board should be a basis for market confidence. 

According to him, registered persons must demonstrate ethical behavior, competence, remain solvent and be ready to share credible information with the Board on matters of professional significance from time to time – feedback mechanism. 

Revealing the impact of money laundering on the nation’s economy, the vice chairman warned estate surveyors and valuers against breaching due process under whatever guise. 

“Bribery, corruption, money laundering, and terrorism financing – a critical but relatively ignored aspect of the practice is the requirement to comply with the national/ international laws relating to bribery, corruption and money laundering. These are serious criminal issues in businesses. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that money laundering accounts for between 2 per cent to 5 per cent of the global GDP, equivalent to $800 billion to $2 trillion US dollars. 

“You are therefore, expected to comply with all statutory requirements against these vices through proper registration of businesses and sometimes transactions reporting and effective archiving of records of customers via ‘Know your Customer’ (KYC) records. 

“The arrest and conviction of any ESV by a court may lead to concomitant regulatory disciplinary proceedings by the Board for misconduct. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Special Committee Against Money Laundering (SCUML) and other statutory bodies are monitoring you and your transactions. Let’s be very vigilant, Kasimu charged. 

He added that, effective identification and management of conflicts of interest are essential component of professionalism and therefore, their registration by the Board should exert confidence to clients and consumers that the ESV and the Board regulated firms are operating to the highest ethical standards. 

“It is expected that as you step out, try to gauge every conduct of yours on the balance of probability that it is in conflict with that of your client. 

“Accordingly, be very careful of the Board’s regulations especially those relating to interfering with another ESV’s brief. The Board frowns at unhealthy rivalry and stiff competition for brief amongst members,” he counseled. 

The Vice Chairman, who reminded the new entrants of both the Board’s and NIESV’s membership of the IVSC, urged them to adhere to the tenets of International Ethics Coalition (IEC), which include acting with integrity, always providing a high standard of service, acting in a way that promotes trust in the profession, treating others with respect and ready to take responsibility for their actions. 

“Every ESV is supposed to operate within the set rules and practice directives set by the Board from time to time. Specifically, in relation to valuation, adherence to minimum performance benchmarks/ templates for valuation reporting is mandatory” he said. 

Esv. Ifeanyi Uzonwanne, registrar of the Board, who expressed delight over the number of the inductees, said the newly registered estate surveyors and valuers would significantly add value to the nation and the profession. 

He urged them to practice their profession of estate surveying and valuation according to the rules and codes, as stipulated by the Board. 

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