Estate Surveyors urge FG to expunge Land Use Act from Constitution
Estate Surveyors and Valuers have reiterated calls for removal of the Land Use Act from the 1999 Constitution and its review to expand access to land.
The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) further urged the Federal government to prioritize investment in the real estate industry to salvage the nation's dwindling economy. According to the institution, the real estate sector has the capacity to launch the country into one of the most developed economies in the world, if well explored and harnessed.
NIESV President, Johnbull Amayaevbo, who made the call at the 30th J.W. Ekpenyong Memorial Lecture and induction of new fellows of the Institution in Abuja, noted that land is a major factor in the economy and entire human existence, adding that if the nation’s wealth in land is well harnessed, the government will achieve the N1 trillion gross domestic Product (GDP) projections.
He, however, lamented that the Land Use Act has negatively affected Land administration and management, stressing that the Land Use Act since its enactment about 46 years ago has not been reviewed because it is embedded in the constitution, and this has been an impediment to converting land resources into individual wealth in the country.
Amayaevbo said: "Real estate plays a critical role in the development of any country, Nigeria will continue to lag behind if the government fails to recognise the importance of real estate professionals, especially the estate surveyors and valuers. Government should involve real estate professionals in the formulation of policies and decision making because real estate is a catalyst to any economy."
Also, the president told the newly inducted fellows to demonstrate the attributes of competence, ethical standards, integrity, honesty and devotion in addition to absolute loyalty to the Institution.
"You must realise that you have also acquired the responsibility of being role models to younger estate surveyors and valuers, and to those who need inspiration to join the profession. It is expected of you to continue to show quality leadership to other members of the profession, and espouse the profession for the benefit of humanity. The estate surveying and valuation profession is evolving and so are developments within the real estate practice space."
Amayaevbo noted that the late John Wood Ekpenyong is an inspiration for estate surveyors and valuers to build the profession and nation.
In a lecture titled, "The Role of The Real Estate Sector In National Economic Development," NIESV past president, Rowland Abonta, said that every progressive nation sets its own national economic objectives, goals and targets, adding that every national economy is subjected to both negative and positive changes.
He observed that most African countries including Nigeria are facing economic crises because of defective and faulty economic policies, stressing that the real estate sector plays an important role and contributes substantially to the economic development and provides a range of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for construction workers, professional services, land surveyors, town planners, and architects.
He said: "Development of real estate goes hand in hand with the development of critical infrastructure like road, drainages, bridges construction, and electrification. Infrastructural development serves as a significant contributor to the internally generated revenue by the government through property taxes, land use charges. By providing residential accommodation and other key facilities like school, shops, hospitals, the sector is an enabler of urbanisation and development."
Culled from The Guardian Newspaper, February 2024