NIESV urges Plateau to reduce property rates, consent fees

NIESV

NIESV

With the concerns mounting over the dwindling revenue generation from landed property, members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Plateau State Chapter have advised the state authorities to embark on down – ward review of property rates and fees.

The body wants the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning to make changes in the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy; building approvals; site and services scheme; street naming and numbering; proliferation of unorganized markets and motor parks and documentation of customary land holding in the state.

Chairman of the NIESV chapter in the state, Fidel Okpanachi Idoko, stated this in a submission sent to the chairman of the Plateau State Board of Internal Revenue Service, which was made available to The Guardian.

NIESV noted that one of the hindrances to effective revenue generation is non – enforcement of the rules and regulations guiding ownership of property in the state. “When properties that are covered by statutory rights of occupancy change hands, such transactions are referred to the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning for processing. The parties quote less sums as consideration with a view to short – changing government of revenues.”

Idoko stated the law that empowers a registered estate surveyor and valuer to undertake professional services such as, valuation of all assets (tangible and intangible) for all purposes; feasibility and viability appraisal of planned project/development; estate agency/brokerage/auctioneering; infrastructure and facility management; and law reform, land registration, planning and analysis.

According to Idoko, “The main issue government needs to undertake is to first identify all its revenue sources with a view to adopting an effective, efficient modus operandi in collection. On our part, we have identified some untapped sources of revenue as well as loopholes that have negatively affected generations of revenue in the state.”

“The ministry usually directs its staff to inspect such properties and submit a valuation/assessment report for some obvious reasons, the properties are usually under – valued by the officers. As a panacea, government can decide that such application for consent to assign or part – surrender be accompanied with sealed valuation reports prepared by independent estate surveying and valuation firm.”

He said the relevant laws empower the local government to charge tenement rate on some categories of property within its jurisdiction, adding that those sources of revenue have been neglected for quite a long time.

“NIESV had had discussions with the previous administration on modalities to carry out the exercise of updating a valuation list of all properties within the greater Jos master plan with a view to be engaged in commencing the collection of these revenue sources.

“However, it seems all efforts were in futility as nothing is yet to be done to implement our recommendations. It is commendable that the present administration is determined to harness all its revenue sources in view of dwindling revenue allocation from the federal govern coffers following a fall in international oil prices. On this note, we wish to offer again to continue discussion on tenement/property rate,” Idoko stressed.

Idoko noted that with the input advanced, he hopes it will assist government in making any informed decision as it affects their well-being, that of the government as well as the built environment



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