Valuers fault N700b loss attributed to EndSars protest

Nov 23 2020

Estate surveyors and valuers have faulted the N700 billion loss ascribed to the recent protest against Police brutality.Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Sir Emmanuel Wike, stated that the figure lacked merit, stressing that it was a result of guesswork.

He stated the real estate is currently challenged, following the devaluation of the naira, especially as the sector is largely dependent on importation.

Wike, who decried the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, said while the standards of living are being weakened, inflation has affected prices of materials.

“The Endsars protest, which recently took place in some major cities of Nigeria unfortunately snowballed into violence, following the hijack of the movement by hoodlums. Unarguably, the aftermath adversely affected the fragile economy of the country.

The arsonists went on a rampage and destroyed private and public properties in Lagos and some other state capitals in a magnitude, which was horrendous. Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) put the value of the loss at about N700 billion.

“The government also came up with figures of the number of properties destroyed. Cost of reconstruction runs into several billions of naira.

“While not contesting the fact that properties worth billions of naira were destroyed, we however wish to state unequivocally that estate surveyors and valuers are the only professionals empowered by training and law to place a monetary value on assets.

“As the President of the institution, I am not aware that our members were consulted to put monetary values on the properties destroyed. How the government came about the amount being brandished, I sincerely don’t know,” Wike stated.

According to him, the composition of a committee by the Federal Government for disposal of assets forfeited to the Nigerian Government is a step in the right direction.

NIESV president noted that earnings from the exercise would be a source of additional revenue in the face of the harsh economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Wike said: “What is worth doing is worth doing well. To achieve the objective of this exercise, the right thing must be done. The right channel must be followed. Capable hands must be engaged. Utmost professionalism is required.

He called for an update and enumeration of the identified forfeited assets as part of the scope of the disposal process, that there was a need to assign facility and property management of the forfeited assets to estate surveyors and valuers during the pre-disposal period of the said assets.

The institution also asked the government to assign the valuation and disposal of the forfeited assets to members of the professional body, while appointing estate surveyors and valuers into the committee.

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