By Oluwaseun Sonde, Abuja
The President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), QS Obafemi Oluwole Onashile has attributed the institute’s 50th years achievement to its capacity and its qualification well recognised internationally as automatic ticket to practice abroad.
The president made it known while addressing the dignitaries that graced the event of the institute’s 50th anniversary and its newly built Secretariat on Saturday in Abuja.
According to him “It is worth mentioning that 50 years ago when NIQS started, we had barely 20 qualified quantity surveyors in Nigeria including British nationalities; meaning that indigenous quantity surveyors then were less than 10 or 15.
“Now 50 years after, we can boast of an institute with over 10,000 members out of which 4,000 are corporate qualified members practising in Nigeria and beyond. In the 50 years of our existence, we have done very well.
“Our capacity and qualification is now very well recognised even internationally as we have just signed reciprocity agreement with the Canada institute of quantity surveyors. So as a Nigerian quantity surveyor, once you produce your qualification certificate of NIQS in Canada you are given automatic ticket to practice there.
“The same for Nigerian Quantity Surveyors in the Middle East, Australia and other parts of the world. This is a testimony to how far the institute which was established in 1969 has come”, he said.
He added that the institute has unveiled a newly built secretariat and a history book about the institute to mark 50 years of existence.
“Today is a remarkable day because we are unveiling our new 5-storey secretariat in Abuja. It is a project that took 17 months to construct. It’s a testimony to the capacity of quantity surveyors in project delivery. We give glory to God that the project is completed with 5 floors including a basement for services. It is not a story of abandoned project.
“It is a remarkable event because it marked a beginning of a new era for the professional institute. On the institute’s 50th anniversary, it is very important because of how far we have come over the years”, he said.
Also speaking, the immediate past President of NIQS, QS Mercy Iyortyer has said that the event is a celebration of legacy and hard work.
‘’On our 50th anniversary, we are unveiling our secretariat and launching the NIQS history book. This is very important to us. A lot of people will read the book and appreciate the history of the institute,’’ she said.
She also revealed that the land upon which the secretariat was built on was allocated to the institute during her tenure as the FCT chapter chairman of NIQS, when Mallam Nasir el-Rufai was minister of the FCT.
‘’We paid him a visit and requested for a land for our secretariat, to move it from Lagos to Abuja, and he graciously gave us a land. When I was president, 3 years ago, I was privileged once more to ensure that we got approval for the drawings. We secured the land, fenced it and got the whole thing rolling. The bills of quantity were prepared and we started with the tender process, and we have followed due process in all we have done.’’
She said that the project has taken less than 2 years, proving to be a good project delivery. ‘’Everything was delivered on time and to specification, and within budget as well. We are very grateful to all those who contributed to the development of this project. Our own quantity surveyor was also key to the delivery of this project.’’
“The NIQS had previously operated from a rented apartment which disrupted their activities because of issues with landlords that pushed us to embark on this project and it was a dream come true”, she said
She appealed to the FCT authorities to help provide a durable access road to the building.
The event was well attended by top dignitaries including members of the institute, past presidents, former ministers and respected industry stakeholders.