The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has called on government to ensure that construction policy defaulters should be sanctioned, taken to court and jailed as this will serve as a signal for other agencies.
The NIESV president, Mr. Rowland Abonta, made the call during a courtesy visit by the Trustees of the Institution to Oba Rilwan Akiolu at Iga Idunganran, the official palace of the Oba of Lagos.
According to Abonta, the major challenges of urban administration or city management in Nigeria generally is the issue of compliance with statutory requirements for developmental projects as almost everything in the country appears to be compromised.
“As a professional body, we are saying that the issue of development should pass through full approval processes to ensure that what is approved is implemented at the site in terms of supervision and that the required professionals are the ones doing the jobs. Government agencies that regulate developments should take it seriously. It is beyond the temporary money we get in the process of compromising our roles and functions in ensuring compliance with specifications.
“They should know that they are receiving what is called blood money. If you know that this building you are constructing and collecting money for stands the risk of having people in them and at the end of the day, the building goes down and people lose their lives, whether it happened immediately or took another 10 or 20 years, you are culpable. We are appealing to government officials who are in charge of ensuring compliance in development that they have a job to do.”
He also requested that the professional bodies set up monitoring teams for not just major projects, but every housing construction work that is beyond the regular bungalow.
While requesting that every building be insured so as to curtail a loss of real estate assets to various disasters, he acknowledged that insurance policies are not well accepted in this part of the world, and hence called for a shift in mentality as the importance of insurance cannot be overemphasised.
“We also need the government agency, NAICOM (National Insurance Commission), to take this matter seriously and enforce the existing laws particularly on public buildings. Public building is that building that allows in and out of normal people, citizens of the country; a building that I visited rampantly, used for whatever purpose. It does not necessarily need to be only government buildings.”