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Absence of data poses threat to real estate industry –Expert

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Babajide Okeowo

The former Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos Chapter, Mr. Samuel Ukpong, has lamented that the absence of adequate records on land and housing transactions is posing a great threat to the growth of the real estate industry.

“The absence of adequate records on housing development, land transactions, and construction activities poses a great challenge to the growth of housing and infrastructure in Nigeria,” he said.

He said that lack of data on land transactions could be addressed by the estate surveyors because they were land economists trained in the valuation of landed property.

Ukpong said that lack of adequate data on land and housing development was as a result of the non-existence of office of the Valuer-General at state government level.

He, therefore, called for the establishment of the Office of Valuer-General in all states of the federation, to track and provide necessary information on land transactions.

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 The consultant explained that the existence of the Office of Valuer-General at the state level was important for the proper monitoring, valuation, and documentation on land, to enhance the growth of the real estate industry.

“This is why we are clamoring for the establishment of the Valuer-General office in each state of the federation, through the office, the needed data/information on real estate and land-related matters will be made available because assessment on land transactions is one of the major mandates of the office. Presently, no one has the data on the exact number of houses or hectares of land available in the country; which is necessary information for proper planning of the economy. With the establishment of the Office of the Valuer-General, the issue of false declaration of assets, dead property, boundary dispute, and boundary overlap will properly be addressed” he said.

The Ex-NIESV boss said that it was the duty of the Valuer-General to do a proper assessment of lands to ensure that citizens give the true declaration of their assets. Ukpong stressed that estate valuers/surveyors were also professionally learned to interpret figures and issues relating to budgets, in particular, and the economy in general. He noted that the dwindling economic situation of the country was as a result of the fact that relevant professionals were not always consulted in decision-making or placed in their rightful positions.