To enlist Nigeria in the league of smart cities, the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has advised states to emulate Lagos State government and commit more funds into infrastructural development. The institution noted that infrastructural development is the basis for evolvement of the concept of smart city across the world hence, the need to prioritise such investment across the country.
NIESV President, Mr. Rowland Abonta stated this when he led the national and Lagos executives on a courtesy call to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to solicit partnership/support on its forthcoming conference themed, ”A city that works” scheduled for the state.
According to him, the foundation, which Lagos has laid in that regard over the years, has made it to be a cynosure of all eyes internationally. He said: “We have observed continuous trend of development in the state from previous to the present administration, a lot of investments have been put into infrastructural development. We believe that other states should emulate such gesture”.
Abonta lauded the state government for its support to professionals in the built sector especially for engaging members in some key ministries. He stated that the conference would bring together about 15,000 estate surveyors and international practitioners from the United States of America. The event also seeks to deliberate further ways to improve the industry in Lagos and Nigeria.
On quacks, he disclosed that the association is advocating that whoever wants to join, must register and be certified to practice. Abonta stressed that the institution has sign pact with security agencies such as the police and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission to stamp out quacks from the profession.
Receiving the team on behalf of Governor Ambode, the State’s Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Ade Akinsanya noted that land has become a goldmine in the state due to the ever-increasing population that competes for the limited resource. He said NIESV, has however played significant role in assisting the government to manage issues relating to landmass of the state. Akinsanya restated the commitment of government to work with all professionals and render needed logistics and moral supports to NIESV toward the success of the slated conference. He explained that the government so far, awarded about 1,500 projects across the state adding that while some has been completed, others are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC) has indicated interest to partner NIESV on intangible property valuation. The move is to engender proper values of intellectual property and empower copyright owners, who often die in poverty for lack of proper information. Zonal Director, of Copyright Commission, Lagos, Mr. Ezeilo Obi, gave the cheering news in an interview at sideline of a Business Assets and Intellectual Valuation Training organized by a Business Division of the institution in Lagos.
Obi said, Nigerians have lost a lot due to failure to take advantage of their copyright as so many do not know the proper value of their copyright, while some have left their copyright to lie fallow. According to him, the Commission is aware that a lot of copyright owners have died in abject poverty when they could have lived a better life if they had tapped from the gains of their copyright and make something out of it.
NCC, he stressed, is happy with the process initiated by the valuers because copyright owners will have to enjoy their works, reap the benefit of a work they have used their intellect to produce.
“They could use the value of the copyright as collateral just like any tangible assets could be used. So, it is important that everybody gets interested and utilise it for the good of the individuals and the nation as a whole”, he said. Obi, who was represented by Mrs. Lynda Alphaeus, said, it is really interesting that the estate surveyors and valuers are beginning to appreciate copyright and see it as property that can be valued.
In a related development, Abonta has called for the establishment of the Directorate of Valuation Standards with robust functions and responsibilities. Part III of the Act setting up the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Financial Reporting Act 2011, required the establishment of Directorates as the operating arms of FRCN.
But Abonta, who spoke when he led NIESV delegation to a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of FRCN, Mr. Daniel Asapokhai in Lagos, noted that whilst most other directorates so provided by the act have been established, the directorate of valuation standards is yet to be established. He also called for the enforcement of valuation for annual financial reporting for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) under IPSAS as well as public quoted companies annual accounts. Abonta expressed willingness to cooperate with FRCN to ensure full registration of NIESV registered members with the council.