As controversies continue to rage over the 2018 budget recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Institutution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has declared that Nigerians were tired of excuses.
Mr. Rowland Abonta, the President of NIESV, spoke on Thursday in Enugu, where he accused the political leaders of justifying their failure to address critical issues facing the nation, with cheap excuses.
DAILY POST reports that he was in the State for the 3rd Regular Management and Committee Meeting of the NIESV, as well as inspection of ongoing work at the permanent site of the Enugu liaison office.
Speaking to journalists, Abonta noted that the problem of effective housing and delivery system in Nigeria had never been budget but its implementation.
The NIESV helmsman blamed the failure of housing programmes in Nigeria on the absence of national housing master-plan.
“The problem of Nigeria has never been budgetary provision but budgetary implementation. As I speak to you, there is no concrete arrangement for housing in the country, for effective housing production and delivery system in Nigeria.
“Whether they remove the budget or leave the budget, it makes no difference. There was budget last year, last two years for housing, for nobody can say what quantity we have added to housing in the country.
“There is no empirical data for what has been budgeted this year. So, it is like throwing drops of water into the ocean.
“There is serious need for stakeholders to sit down and decide on a master-plan for housing in Nigeria. It will take five years to have a plan. Until we do that, I will not be carried away by budgetary provisions which will never be released.
“Our members spent billions bidding for projects last year, only to be told that the President released only 50 percent of the budget. This year, we are not even sure that he will release up to 25 percent. These are cheap excuses, political excuses by those in authority, denying responsibility to the people that have put them in office.
“Our President should know that Nigerians are tired of excuses. We are interested in seeing concrete actions that will bring concrete result,” Abonta said.
He said as estate surveyors and valuers, they deserve the chance to be on the driver’s’ seat of the country’s housing programmes and not to watch from the sidelines.
On the issue of quackery in their profession, Abonta made it clear that anybody who did not study estate management and surveying should be regarded as a quack.
He said the situation where lawyers, doctors and even journalists parade themselves as estate professionals was unacceptable to the institute.
To check the trend, he said, “We have done a number of things, we set up a subsidiary association called Estate Agents Association of Nigeria, under the banner of Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. Our ultimate aim is to bring in non-professionals who are practising this profession and train them up, equip them with skills to be able to do the work and do it properly, give them some form of certification to ensure that they don’t go out there and continue to misrepresent us.
“But for those who will not take advantage of the Estate Agents Association of Nigeria, we are also partnering with the Nigeria Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“We are collaborating with them to make sure that we stop them from duping the unsuspecting members of the public. We are also using advocacy to enlighten Nigerians to always deal with professionals than give opportunity for quacks to defraud them.
“Government will help in a number of ways. They should give credence to professionalism, we also find out that some government agencies, ministries are also found to be patronizing quacks. And for us, quack is anyone studying what he did not study.
“So, it it could a medical doctor, if you delve into our profession, the only language we can use about you is that you are a quack. If you are a lawyer, if you engage in our professional practice, you are a quack. Even journalists are also flooding our profession.
“We are saying that when the law enforcement agencies get these people, government should make sure that the law comes hard on them.”
On the efforts of his administration towards moving the Institute forward, the President said, “The key driver for this administration is advocacy, most Nigerians when you talk of estate surveyors and values, they don’t really understand our role within the national economy.
“So, we are reaching out to stakeholders, government, individuals, to enlighten our people on the valuable services of estate surveyors and valuers such that the public will no longer be victims when they patronize quacks on real estate matters, particularly the common ones, the issues of housing and renting, tenancy.
“So many have had their fingers cut patronizing quacks, those who jump into the profession when they are not trained or skilled to do that. We are taking our public space within the Nigerian economy to make sure that people get quality services they deserve, advocacy is one. We are also building capacity of our members, we are recruiting quality new embers, we are also diversifying the financial base of our institution, above all, we are to drive quality service and ethics in the profession.”
In a remark, the immediate past chairman of the Enugu chapter of the Institute, ESV Cosmas Ezeh, expressed the hope that the committee meeting would lead to the advancement of the course of the profession.
“I have no doubt that the committee will come up with news strategies that would position the Institute for efficient service delivery,” Ezeh said.
Credit: Daily Post