The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki has called on estate surveyors and valuers to evolve strategies that would check corruption in the real estate sector, reiterating National Assembly’s resolve to stimulate urban development in the country through oversight function and effective legislation.
This came as the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers NIESV, backed the ongoing amendment of the Code of Conduct Act at the upper legislative chamber.
Saraki made the call while declaring open the 46th Annual Conference of NIESV with the theme; ‘City Growth: Issues and Challenges of Urban Sustainability in Nigeria’ in Abuja last week.
Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, Barnabas Gemade, the Senate President lamented that the real estate sector in the country is riddled with corruption, raging from cases of inflation of rents, over-priced land, lack of integrity among others.
The number three man in the country insisted that this does not augur well for the development of the industry, noting that the conference was apt to address some of the challenges facing the country.
“This conference, therefore, serves as a veritable opportunity for the institution to partner with the new administration to deliver on set goals that will significantly improve the welfare and living standards of our people.
“As managers of land, buildings and other facilities, you are in a prime position to develop effective strategies that will cleanse the industry and make it attractive enough for meaningful collaborations.
“A situation whereby the real sector is riddled with cases of inflation of rents, over-priced land, lack of integrity and sundry corruption cannot augur well for the development of the industry.”
Saraki pledged the readiness of the Legislature to work with the recommendations of this year’s conference “in the bid to encourage city growth and stimulate urban development.”
He urged the participants to formulate useful and enduring strategies towards generating necessary funding for the development of the real sector in Nigeria, while also ensuring affordability for subscribers.
Also speaking the Minister of Power, Lands and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the federal government would address problem of housing deficit with a clear plan which would soon be unveiled.
Represented by one of his Special Advisers, Biodun Okiyi, the Minister expressed government’s determination to collaborate with any professional body with clear intention to improve housing sector in the country.
In his remarks, the President of NIESV, Olorogun James Omeru urged the Senate to let the ongoing amendment to CCT Act include that asset declaration must be backed with Valuation Certificate signed by a registered estate surveyor and valuer to guard against under-declaration or anticipatory declaration.
He explained that asset declaration as stipulated for the public officials is good but it is not complete, when monetary value is not attached to the property declared by the official. NIESV Boss said that the 2016 conference would focus on articulating suggestions to guide government’s effort toward sustainable city development.
Omeru noted that the poor implementation of the Abuja Master Plan would be corrected, if the government would allow estate surveyors to exhibit their expertise in urban management.