The Federal Government and National Assembly have been contacted by experts from the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) regarding the urgent need to remove the Land Use Act from the 1999 Constitution ((as amended)) in order to unleash the enormous economic potential for national development.
The newly elected NIESV President, MrJohnbull Amayaevbo gave the charge in Abuja during separate interviews with Nigerian Tribune during the Dedication and Thanksgiving Service of the inaugural ceremony as the 25th President of the Institution.
He said: “Yesterday we held Council meeting, one major thing we are doing next year, we are the experts, when it comes to land and land resource management and we have one major law that guards or that we use in Nigeria and that is the Land Use Decree.
“A lot of people have complained and we too have also complained. Just imagine a law enacted over 44 years ago nothing has changed but the world is dynamic and the reason is because that law was enshrined in the constitution.
“And you know, and anywhere in the world, it is difficult to change the Constitution. What we are saying is that there are so many clauses in that law that are still very relevant, but there are so many other areas that are not in tune with what the reality is today.
“And for us as a country to move forward, we need to remove that law from the Constitution and stand it alone. So that with time going forward we will be reviewing it. That law affects housing provision, that law affects infrastructural development, so many things, even home ownership. But as I’ve said there are so many clauses there that are as good because of our peculiar nature as a country.
“But we would create a three or four days for all stakeholders to come. Those in the legislative, those in the Executive and those in the Judiciary and other stakeholders both home and abroad. We need to also learn from other countries who have land policy issues so all of us will come brainstorm whether you are currently serving in those three tiers of Government or you have retired.
“Because the major aspect of that law is that all lands are held by the Governors’ for the indigenes of the state but you discover that when the Governor is there, he does not want that thing touched, but when they leave the thing will come and hint them again. So we will look at that and brainstorm and advise Nigeria, the way forward.”
While expressing delight for confidence reposed in him by members of the Institution, Amayaevbo unveiled the four cardinal agenda namely “rebranding, research and development, capacity building of our members to be able to be equipped for the task ahead so that we will be able to deliver to our clients, our stakeholders and of course the welfare of our members. Those are the four cardinal points this administration is built on.
“And by the grace of God we have started, we have started engaging all our stakeholders, we have engaged and collaborated and we are going into partnership with Lagos Business School, sharing of day, doing research together and at the same time giving our members the opportunity for training for our professional needs.
“We’ve also entered into collaboration with the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru, we were there and they were elated to also partner with us on capacity building, training of our members especially as it relates to leadership, policy and strategy.”
According to him, the Institution through its faculties have started arranging affiliations with international Organisations with a view to build capacity for members of the Institution, as well as roll-out of health insurance, grooming programme for upcoming professionals, among others.
On his part, Chairman, Estate Surveyors and Valuers Institution Board of Nigeria (ESVIBN), Gershom Henshaw tasked the newly elected NIESV President on integrity.
He said”We are the regulators of Estate Surveyors, JohnbullAmayaevbo is well known person to me. He has been on this journey for the last six years. For me today is self actualisation for him. He knows what we stand for, integrity is the watchword, devotion to what we believe in and greatest strength is to inform the people.
“Let the people know what Estate Surveyors and Valuers represents and what it can do to the society generally. That is why we are happy that today he’s the25th President and he will bring his wealth of experience to bare and that is why all of us as Estate Surveyors whether as practitioners or regulators will give him the support to succeed.
“As an Estate Surveyors and Valuers, we have consistently pleaded with Government, beg Government to remove the Land Use Act from the Constitution to make it workable. Today the Land Use Act is more of an aberration, it’s more of an impediment to land and land transactions.”
Also in a chat with Nigerian Tribune, NIESV 1st Vice President, Victor Alonge stressed the need for government to put necessary mechanism in place for effective land administration across the country.
“The first and most important thing is to actually get out land administration system right. As of now land is the most untapped resource in the whole of this country. It is estimated that we have about $800 billion of dead capital in this country. That is $800 billion of assets that are there but are not productive and cannot be employed for economic development.
“So the major reason for that is the poor land administration system. We need to find a way to free up the dead capital to be productive, if that is productive economy will definitely be improved upon. And then when we have economic activity in an economy then you have opportunities to meet needs including housing.
“If you want to go and build houses, even if you have the money to build houses, and start building houses people economic capacity will need to be improved upon, because if you build houses if the people are not able to afford it, of what benefit is that? So we need to look at it in that aspect.
The Land Use Act review and our land administration system, which is a hindrance to the land administration system in this country, are two critical aspects of it, he noted.