Surveyors canvass review of professional practice regulation


Director, KPMG, West Africa, Mr. Wole Obayomi

WHILE admitting that there is need for them to catch in on latest global business practice, members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESVs) have called for a total overhaul of some of their rules of practice.

The review of these regulations and laws would not only aid the practice of estate surveying in Nigeria, but will also place the realtors on a global competitiveness and thereby boosting real estate sector of the nation’s economy.

Speakers and participants of the NIESVs’ 2nd 2015 National Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) Seminar, which focused on: “Modern Business Innovations To Sustainable Professional Practice”, held in Lagos last week, shared this view.
The seminar, which was well-attended, had three speakers including a public relations practitioner and Managing Director, CMC Connect (Perception managers), Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, a tax expert, who is also a Director, KPMG, West Africa, Mr. Wole Obayomi and renowned realtor, Mr. Chudi Ubosi.

Kick-starting the forum through his welcome address, chairman MCPD committee, which organised the seminar, Mr. Azubuike Unigwe said, It was pertinent to acknowledge some of the efforts we have made in the past towards creating a framework that would engender the emergence of “mega firms” in our profession. “In particular, the “Ada Retreat:, to my mind, remains a laudable attempt, albeit, a starting point. One positive outcome of the Ada Retreat is that the restriction against the use of pseudonym for our professional practice has now been removed, particularly for those who are interested in going into partnerships.

In an interview with The Guardian Unigwe said though his committee having observed some missing links in the modus oprandi of many of their professional colleagues, resorted to organise the seminar and focus on the topic.

According to him, “Naturally, I agree that, it is about time to change some of these rules. However, I believe that, it is better we go about it through getting more converts, who will beginning to see the practice in order ways.”

But Unigwe believed that “changing the practice to business needs awareness creation through seminars like this; we will change those rules by winning people over, by changing their mind-set. We need to gain more grounds and win more converts with new way of thinking and we will continue to elect visionary leaders who would consistently strive to change people’s mindset”

All the speakers whether on branding, business or professional practice unanimously agreed that there was need for the estate surveyors to learn modern practice of growing their practice, which if done in properly would translate to better business for them.
“We are going back from here to our various offices to reappraise and reorganize our practice in order to catch up with modern techniques in business development; we should ensure that we project good customer relationship in our practice. As it is with the practice globally, estate surveyors and valuers are expected to improve their customer relations with a view of boosting their profitability.

We are going to do a lot of tinkering with our regulations to meet the present reality. The law establishing us came on board 1975 and we need to change some of our rules to compete effectively in business. We need freedom to operate in free society”, Roland Abonta, the institution’s second vice president, assured in an interview with The Guardian on the sideline of a seminar.
“Our regulations are too restrictive; our eyes are open today and we need to be customer-friendly and effective in the business of today by applying all the modern techniques, systems and strategies used in normal business world that enhance growth and development. We need to review all the laws and rules in order to have the freedom to operate in a free market economy/environment like ours”, he added.

In his paper, Chudi Ubosi, partner at Ubosi Eleh & Co, highlighted innovations that will not only drive their practices but also sustain them and ensure that these practices were there long after they had retired.

Ubosi, President, Africa Region for the International Federation of Real Estate Association (FIABCI) tasked the surveyors on branding, effective marketing, customer service, information technology, total quality management, organizational structure,
staffing and staff training, etc.
“Whilst our code of practice precludes us from direct marketing, we must continually come up with creative ways to ensure that our firms, staff and the services we offer are on the front burner of the minds of the consumers who need our services. There are many subtle ways to do this including having professionalized official email addresses, writing articles on real estate, commenting on issues of national importance relevant to our profession…”, he counseled”, adding “The onus now rests on us as practitioners exploring innovations to sustainable professional practices to go back review our operations and determine how these innovations can be inculcated into our practices.”

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