*Values are inconsistent with present economic downturn, Fashola

The Federal Government has expressed concern over the rising costs of acquiring lands and other landed property either through outright purchase or rent and tasked the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVRBON) to come out with stringent regulatory measures to ensure that the prices are in tune with reality.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who gave the charge to ESVRBON, further observed that the current values of landed property does not reflect the prevailing social and economic downturn and reality in Nigeria.

He spoke while inuagurating the members of ESVRBON led by its Chairman, Olayinka A. Sonaike, adding that the negative impact of the rising costs can easily be seen in the increasing costs of doing business and the declining rating of Nigeria in ease of doing business.

ESVRBON has the sole mandate of registering qualified Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Nigeria and setting out the standard regulatory guidelines of practicing in the country.

The Minister maintained that land constitute a major and critical assets in any business formation, be it either Micro, Small, Medium or large scale enterprise, one needs land in form of space to transact the business or even where to live as residence.

He said: “For me, I think the most important message is to pose the question to you whether the current land valuation systems and values are consistent with the realities of our economy. You as experts must answer that question.

“In a very challenging economy, where cash is clearly tight, is the market value responding appropriately? Because just recently, I checked in property markets in some other jurisdictions, and because there is global economic slowdown, what we see is that people are offering discounts in order to ensure optimum occupancy.

“But I’m not sure that the practice is the same here. So, are these values consistent with reality? Why are we not seeing rates, rents and values drop? Why are we having many houses unoccupied while many people are looking for accommodation?”

Fashola stressed that the ESVRBON must find solutions to the issues to ensure that real estate contributes to the growth of the economy as the Federal Government implements the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

In addition, he said they must develop transparent, simple and comprehensive estate valuation data nationwide so that no one would be left in doubt of estate values anywhere.

Responding, the Chairman of the ESVRBON, Olayinka Sonaike, appealed to Fashola for the collaboration of the Ministry with the Estate Surveyors and Valuers in the implementation of the 10,000 housing units programme in each state of the federation.

Further, while assuring the Minister that the Board members would do their best, Sonaike request that the budgetary allocation for the board should be given to it with financial backing to enable the Board not only bark but also bite.

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