The Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has asked the Lagos State government to stop charging Land Use Charge on capital gains but on income.
The association said even in charging income, some incomes are allowable. The institution said these errors have gone unchecked because its members are not involved in the administration of landed matters in the state.
The group noted that since Lagos has remained a pacesetter in all sectors of the economy, it should correct itself so that the practice will be replicated in other states of the country.
At a meeting with the Permanent Secretary, Land Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro, the group’s Chairman, Mr. Offiong Sam Ukpong in the company of other executives of the body, stressed the need for the government to partner estate surveyors in on land administration.
He said the nation’s land administration will continue to be in parlous state except there is policy direction in the right place.
While calling for the establishment of the Office of Estate Surveyor–General, Ukpong said smaller countries such as Papa New Guinea and Ghana have come up with such policy that has seen the real sector grow in leaps and bounds.
He said in Ghana, before a land transaction can be effectively concluded, a surveyor must sign to give legality to the transaction, lamenting that in Nigeria, surveyors are not involved in policy formulations and transactions. Furthermore he said his association should be allocated 100 hectares of land to build an estate that will exclusively be inhabited by surveyors to showcase professionalism in land matters and facility management of buildings, plant and machinery.
Agoro agreed that Land Use Charge should be on income and not on capital gain, promising that the government would review it soon. He promised to engage more surveyors, stressing that the state government is not unmindful of the strategic importance that estate surveyors and valuers occupy in any modern economy.
He said in developed economies, the growth of the economy is measured by the robustness of the real estate sector and the state government is poised to benchmark on international best practices. He added that the state government plans to register land and estate brokers, noting that government needs to identify those doing business with her in order to protect the public.
The PS decried a situation where the innocent public is defrauded by those who purportedly act as interface between them and the government and stressed the preparedness of government to deal with any bad egg in her system and any member of the public who engages in fraudulent activities.
He said: “If anybody or group henceforth wants to transact business with government relating to land, the person must submit himself to registration; we intend to curb the permissive illegalities we noted in the Bureau when we came in. We need to, as a matter of urgency, register all land and estate brokers so that when there is a dispute or misdemeanor we will readily know the culprit. As responsible government we owe it to every Lagosian to protect their lives and property.”
According to him, government is working tirelessly to reposition the Bureau to meet modern demands of professionalism in landed matters and real estate business.
On the proposed Surveyors Estate, he said the government will fulfil its promise by making land available for them to build the model estate but was non committal on the size of the land that will be given by government for the purpose.
Source: The Nation Nigeria