By Kingsley ADEGBOYE
After 20 years of being managed by HFP Engineering, the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) last week formally took over the seven-storey NIS Building beside Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Building on Engineering Close, Victoria Island, Lagos. Messrs HFP Engineering Nigeria Limited are the developers of the building and had an agreement with the surveyors to manage it for that period to recoup the money spent on its construction.
Speaking during the hand over ceremony NIS President, Surv. Yakubu Maikano recounted how HFP Engineering got involved with NIS Building. According to him, about 23 years ago, the founding fathers of the surveying profession got the land for the purpose of building its National Secretariat for the professional body.
He noted however, that because the institution had no money to embark on the project then, they decided to approach HFP Engineering to help develop the parcel of land. He added that the agreement entered into with their developers stipulated that the developers would manage the property for 20 years to enable them recoup their money before handing over the documents of the property to the owners.
Maikano who commended the initiators of the building project for their vision and focus, assured that the property will be managed for the well being of members of the institution.
The Legal Adviser to NIS, Mr Adewale Atanda praised what he called the uncommon vision of the founding fathers of NIS.
A past president of the institution and national treasurer NIS when the land was purchased, Dr said a plot of land in Victoria Island then was N70,000, pointing out that the institution could not raise the money then. He thanked the developers for not manipulating the documents to drag the handing over beyond 20 years as agreed upon between the two parties.
The immediate past president of NIS, Surv. Sola Atilola who noted that history has been kind to the Institution concerning the building, said the building was designed as a five-storey property, but during construction, HFP Engineering advised that it could be raised to a seven-floor structure, admitting that today, NIS is proud to be owners of a seven-storey building in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Thanking NIS for giving HFP Engineering the opportunity to develop the property and manage it for 20 years before handing it over to the owners, the group managing director of the group, Mr. Dele Martins said the founding fathers of the profession who conceived the idea of the building thought of leaving a monument for members of the profession, hence the sacrifices they made then to ensure successful completion of the project.
He said in the Nigeria of today where there is no trust, the story could have been different, as members who used their personal money to purchase the land on behalf the institution could manipulate documents and take the land from NIS. He said the founding fathers were honest people which made the project possible. He thereafter presented the original of the certificate of occupancy ( C of O) and other documents which had been in the custody of the developers for 20 years to NIS president to the admiration of NIS members at the ceremony.