Ahead of the submission of committee report on the dispute over valuation practice in the country, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has formally responded to the petition by the Estate Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON).
The board had written to the immediate past minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola that the COREN Regulations for Engineering Appraisal/Valuation; No. 98 Vol. 105 dated July 31, 2018; COREN Regulations for Engineering Economy; and No. 99 Vol. 105 dated August 1, 2018, as well as COREN Regulations for Cost Engineering, infringe on already existing ESVARBON law, CAP E13 LFN (2007) and gazetted ESVARBON regulations of 2014 which authorize only registered estate surveyors to value all properties and assets in Nigeria.
Estate surveyors expressed grave concern that Nigerian engineers will jettison their core areas of practice such as design and construction of bridges, roads, airports, railway tracks and dabble into valuation of properties and other assets, which they are not trained to handle.
ESVARBON maintained that estate surveyors and valuers are responsible for the determination of economic worth of assets in all its ramification, empowered by law to value and fix monetary worth on such assets.
They had urged the federal government to abrogate the new gazette, which empowers engineers to practice valuation of plant, machinery, and equipment.
But in their response, COREN affirmed that valuation is a multidisciplinary activity and therefore not exclusive to estate surveyors. They want Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and ESVARBON to conform with their course of study which is estate management.
“The COREN Regulations for Engineering Appraisal/Valuation No. 98 Vol.105 of July 2018 are derived from the mandate given by the interpretation clause of Decree No. 55 of 1970 as Amended by Decree 27 of 1992 now Engineer (Registration, etc.) Act, CAP E11, 2004.
“We agree with estate managers that the Acts setting COREN and ESVARBON do not contain any conflict. They have their mandate in land and building (real property) while engineers have theirs in personal property (plant, machinery, and equipment),” engineers said.
On ESVARBON claim that asset valuation has always been more of financial than brick and mortar or steel calculation, adding that the training of the valuer (the Estate Surveyor and Valuer, valuation as a course of study runs through each of the five years of study.
COREN noted that engineering appraisal/valuation is the art of estimating the value of specific properties, and it is where professional engineering knowledge and judgment are essential. Such properties include mines, factories, buildings, plant and machinery, industrial plants, public utilities, and engineering constructions.
According to them, “engineering students study engineering valuation, engineering economics, cost engineering courses in the engineering programme in Nigerian universities. This could be seen in the BenchMark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) and accreditation scoring criteria for undergraduate engineering programmes in Nigerian universities.
“These courses expose engineering students to the economics sides of engineering and are therefore very compulsory for anyone passing through any engineering programme.
“Due to the vastness of the engineering world, engineers unlike other professionals study engineering science in school and specialize in practice at the workplace. Cost engineering, engineering valuation/appraisal, and engineering economy are established fields of practice.
“It should also be noted that not all engineering practitioners engage in them. Appraisal and cost engineering professional institutions belong to internationally recognized bodies like the International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC).
The Institute of Appraisers and Cost Engineers (a Division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers). Estate Surveyors and valuers actually studied estate management while in school. They had valuation as one of the courses of study in the estate management programme, just like engineering students do.”
On the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) confirmation of estate surveyors as the valuers in 2014, COREN said BPP does not have the mandate to determine who qualifies to be a valuer. Only the laws of the Federation have that mandate. The Procurement Act 2007 Section 5(a) – (s) and Sec.6 (1) (a)-(m) do not include the determination of who is a valuer.
Similarly, COREN also refuted ESVARBON claim that when the matter came up during the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) valuation of the assets in 2016/17, it was resolved in favour of estate surveyors as prime valuation consultants, but had to work in collaboration with engineers as advisers.
“It has been established that Engineers have their own role by nature of knowledge, skills, and experience. They are also guided by the principle of specialization in which every valuer is trained based on his/her basic discipline, which ensures competency on the job. The law does not give anyone profession exclusivity in the case of valuation which we have clearly shown in our exposition,” the regulatory body said.
Engineers said: “COREN law also has valuation in it and COREN regulations are for the safety and health of the nation. Each profession has its own areas of specialisation and in engineering valuation, engineering judgment and knowledge are required.
Hence for ESVARBON to claim that they got the job because they were the only valuers is a mere fallacy. Also, the fact that they were asked to work with engineers as advisers show lack of core competencies required to carry out the job on their part.”
Credit: The Guardian