By Chris Ochayi
The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, weekend, lamented that the heightening insecurity situation in the country has impacted negatively on its trade as available investors and foreign partners are scared of investing in the real estate sector of the economy.
President of NIESV, Mr. Rowland Abonta, who expressed the concerns while speaking at the valedictory council meeting for this Council year and tenure of his Presidency in Abuja, said the sector which was picking up last year after the economic downturn in the previous year, lamented that the gain got shattered by recent heightening security threats in the country.
According to Abonta, “We are not exempted from the economic crisis that is facing our nation but the real estate sector has always had a hitch over inflation because investments in real estate sector are not the type that can be eroded by inflation and economic downturn in a nation.
“We are affected because the services we provide or the products of the sector are used by Nigerians and because it is a capital intensive product we deliver to the public.
“When the public don’t have the funding, of course the market will be affected and of course our professional practices are affected. What ever you are observing in other aspects of the economy also has impact in the real estate”.
He recalled that, “Last year was not totally bad but judging from what we are seeing in the first few weeks and months, the heightening insecurity in our land is now scaring every available investor. There were investments that were supposed to be made in the sector but those foreign partners and others are now waiting to know when next an attack will take place and who will be involved.
“So, they are watching, they want to see how stable this economy will be, how stable the security in our nation will be before anybody can really come to invest in the sector. Everybody is involved in the challenges we are facing.”
On NIESV’s activities, the President recalled that “From the inception of the body, we have always partnered with the press in order to make the public know who the estate surveyors and valuers are and to a great extent, we have accomplished that.
“In the area of discipline, we have been able to manage ourselves well and we have been able to cut off all the excesses that used to be the order of the day before now. Now, as an estate surveyor and valuer, before you speak, you try to make sure you are speaking the truth and you try to make sure you are complying with the code of ethics and conducts of the profession”.
Commending the housing policies of the nation, he said “If we are only able to implement 20 or 30 per cent of the policies, our problems of housing would have been solved, and it is like that with all sectors of our economy
“The issue of having good policy has never been the problem, the problem we have is the political will to drive and implement those policies.
The aftermath or what is responsible for what we are facing today in almost all sectors is the inability of those in authority to implement these policies and housing programmes”.