Maduka Nweke, [email protected]
The Nigeria real estate has suffered terrible neglect in the past with regards to regulations. Poor regulation has had a far reaching negative impact on the safety of property in the country. In Nigeria, there are a retinue of regulatory bodies that regulate the activities and the welfare, safety and the modus oprandi of professionals in the sector.
The inability of these regulatory bodies to control the way and manner things are done in the sector has remained the bane of our built environment. The moment that is corrected and the sector regulated well, then building collapse will stop in the country. The Real Estate Industry is a massive one and it’s no wonder there are quite a number of regulatory bodies for the various professions in the industry. The regulatory bodies in the sector include but are not restricted to the following:
Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON).
The body is the regulatory authority for controlling and setting standards for real estate and valuation practice in Nigeria. Although, the rules are clearly spelt out, its leadership must be on their toes to see the ethics are obeyed. The ethics of the board seem not adhered to hence the influx of quacks and absence of practising professionals. The profession gained limelight in the country when, in 1969, a group of qualified chartered (general practice) surveyors formed what is known as the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), as a non-profit voluntary professional organization to cater for the interests of the landed profession in Nigeria.
Six years later, it was accorded government recognition by the promulgation of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers (Registration, etc.) Decree No. 24 of 1975, now CAP III (Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) 1990. By this legislation, Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) came into being as the regulatory body for the profession.
Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) The Institute is involved in various practices such as valuation of interests in land and buildings for various purposes: sale, mortgage, insurance, acquisition, probate, stocks and shares, balance sheet, taxation etc., valuation of construction projects, building maintenance management, property management and development, infrastructure and facilities management, land reform, land registration, planning and analysis, construction/ project management, property inventory and audit and many more. At the project management level, if the manager did not see anything wrong with using poor solutions when the mixture of cement and sand is being considered, then he will not blame anybody when in the near future, the building collapses. But the issue here is that government monitoring bodies will be busy chasing other things at the expense of their cardinal responsibilities.
Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN)
This is the principal agency of the organised private sector recognised by government and approved by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), the apex mortgage lender in Nigeria, to facilitate the delivery of affordable mass housing for Nigerians. Since its formation about a decade ago, the association has gained increased acceptability and prestige.
REDAN also seeks to achieve positive relations with all stakeholders connected with the housing industry including organisations, producers, providers, financiers, and landowners. The association also strives to play an active role in the promotion of research for the development of building materials and systems, as well as standard setting for the industry. However, today it seems that REDAN has left its cardinal responsibilities because there are lots of loopholes that are yawning for closure yet the organisation looks elsewhere. We have empty estates that are uninhabited in the metropolis yet nothing is being done or seen to be done to bring these estates out for public inhabitations.
Government is the ultimate supervisor of any activity that is capable of defacing the surface of its territory. For this single reason, the way and manner activities of its territorial enclave is managed falls on the shoulders of the government authorities whose duty is to monitor and supervise the activities. But it seems that government is not doing enough in this areas, hence reason for siting various projects where they ought not to be.
Nigerian Institute of Town Planners( NITP)
This is Nigeria’s leading planning body for spatial, sustainable, integrative and inclusive planning. The NITP exists to advance the science and art of planning for the benefit of the public. Planners develop long- and short-term plans to use land for the growth and revitalization of urban, suburban, and rural communities while helping local officials make decisions concerning social, economic, and environmental problems. Because local governments employ the majority of urban and regional planners, they are often referred to as community, regional, or city planners.
Governments are seen not to regulate renting of accommodation within its domain whether in the local government, in the states or at federal level. But the rules guiding these activities are not checkmated. We have the Estate, Rent and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN) yet more than four accommodation seekers pay money for the same apartment yet no one will get the apartment. The public saw this as scam on the side of those given to protect them. The Estate, Rent and Commission profession has been described as a noble one that has now formed an important aspect of the nation’s economy, considering the role of housing in any given country.
This association is tasked with the need to educate, inform and train members on the ethics of the profession of agents and understand the best approach to landlords and tenants. This is no longer the issue because many a time those who regulate are the property owners themselves. Another aspect of the job that is eluding them is the fact that government will have massive housing scheme for the not sheltered to buy at a subsidised rates, the rich will buy them all and resell to those it was meant for at an elevated prices yet no punishment meted out for them.