The appointment of Former Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Fashola as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing signals the merging of the two ministries into one. Lagos-based estate surveyors and valuers has called the move a disservice to the nation. They have also faulted the non-appointment of one of their own as the Minister of Housing.
“Thirty (30) years ago when the president was in government, the population of Nigeria was about 90 million. Right now, we are in the region of 170 million, we also have a housing deficit of 17 million which means it is a very serious matter. So, putting the three major sectors of the nation’s economy in the purview of just one person is not right. Nigeria as a country is expanding, responsibilities need to be given to the people. Now another thing that worries us about that appointment is that someone from the built environment was not even appointed,” Chairman of the Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers NIESV, Mr. Samuel Ukpong.
“So, why are we not putting round pegs in round hole. I cannot remember the last time an estate surveyor was made a minister in this country. but I discovered we have minister of water resources and you know every activity starts on land. Why don’t we have someone from the real estate sector, someone who understands the nitty-gritty of the environment as a minister,” Ukpong asked.
“If you go to international conferences, participants wonder what their Nigerian counterparts are doing. The international financial standard is an accounting standard, it recognises that the inputs of the estate surveyors and valuers must be there. No valuation of asset can be carried out without the valuation done by estate surveyors and valuers. We have accountant general, auditor –general , solicitors general, but we don’t have a Valuer-general, despite their relevance to all sectors of the economy. Our infrastructures are decaying because they are not managed by estate surveyors and valuers. The Federal government has taken us for granted. We are critical in the implementation of issues relating to the built environment. The government should take us seriously. For the government to make impact, it must involve the stakeholders,” he said.