ESVARBON renews fight against quackery, inducts new members


ESVARBON’s Chairman Mr. Williams Odudu,

GOING by different initiatives being introduced by the current regime of Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON), activities of quackery in the real estate sector, particularly, estate surveying’ fold in Nigeria, may soon be stamped out.

Quackery has been one of the issues both ESVARBON and the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) have been contending with year in, year out.

But at the weekend, ESVARBON’s Chairman, Mr. Williams Odudu, said the battle against infiltration of non-professionals into its fold was not lost, as several measures were being put in place to sanitize the industry.

Different reforms believed to strengthen the practice of estate surveying in Nigeria and put an end to activities of quacks are being unveiled in a renewed battle to stamp out quackery in the real estate sector of the economy

Odudu spoke at the 36th induction ceremony for newly registered estate surveyors and valuers, held at the Senate Chambers, Old National Assembly complex, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, where 202 persons got their stamps and seals to practice in the country.

The new entrants raise the number of registered estate surveyors to 604 in Nigeria. While admitting that, inadequate number of estate surveyors in the country may have contributed to the multiplicity of non-professionals’ entry into its fold, Odudu, said one of the ways of addressing this was to accelerate the registration of new members in the profession to meet the rapidly growing population of Nigeria.

He added that, he would use his capacity to double the number, without lowering the standard. Odudu pledged that his tenure would fight quackery to a stand still within the profession. “ It is pertinent to emphasize that the focus of the board is to substantially reduce the nefarious activities of quacks by registering many more qualified estate surveyors and valuers in the country.”

He added: “The board has put requisite machinery in place, in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies, to check the spread of pseudo practices and bring to book culprits found guilty of the offence.

It is worthy to stress that the board has instituted actions in courts against quacks, who would not heed its warning. Let me emphasize here that the focus of the current board is to battle quacks to a standstill. Still, the chairman said very soon, ESVARBON would introduce the use of adhesive stamps, to replace the use of the conventional stamps being used by the practitioners in the country, which he said would be computer-based and some experts have been engaged by the board to work on the computer platform to operate the stamps.

The need for the use of the adhesive stamps to seal valuation reports is based on the desire of the board to effectively monitor the quality of valuation reports being prepared by practitioners for their numerous clientele.

Therefore, the practice of estate surveying in Nigeria will longer be business as usual.” In his charge, retired Executive Director, Estate Services, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Elder Eteng Ibiang Eteng, said although the profession was witnessing numerical growth, with annual turnout of graduates, he, however, said it was regrettable that the quality of practice has been on the decline. “The older surveyors have practice proficiency, which reflects their clear understanding of the principles behind what they do. These form the basis of the confidence and responsibility they exude in practice and life.

Today, we cannot speak in like manner of the up-coming surveyors. Young surveyors in a practice spend more effort pursing private lettings, scales and bother less about understanding what the profession is about.”

According to him, several estate practitioners’ malpractices result from ignorance, incompetence, incorrect reporting and lack of integrity among others. Eteng said in compensation assessment, some practitioners, over-estimate crops and economic trees numerically and over-value improvements out of context with the provisions of the law in order to attract underserved direct personal financial benefits from claimants.

The outcome, according to him, was bloated compensation claims that result in escalated projects costs to the public sector and a drain on government resources.

This, in his submission, has lowered public confidence in submissions state practitioners make on compensation and resulted sometimes in the transfer of compensation roles from our profession, adding that several practitioners have lost their credibility and jobs thereby. “In valuation for mortgage, rental, sale and other purposes, some practitioners have been induced by the dependence of their fees on the values accessed, to over- value or allow clients to dictate values they want.

Financiers have thereby been misguided to over-lend and lose their investments. Landlords are misguided to have excessive value expectations leading to failed or delayed deals.

Colleague’s practitioners who do correct valuations become objects of ridicule. ” He said the way out of the unfortunate scenario was for the practitioners to untiringly cultivate integrity and service as a basic character for the person who aspires to mange and protect the wealth of the client, be that a person, corporate or public organ.

To him, the estate practitioner must guard his or her personal relationships and do unto what he or she would like others do unto him/her. “The public we serve has its needs and expectations of us. The profession must therefore take a break to fashion and cultivate “best practices’ to enable us meet these public needs and expectations more appropriately so that we can best cope with the competition out there,” he counseled.

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