Editor

Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, has called on the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers to endeavour to uphold its professional practice and weed out bad eggs within the body.

Ozekhome stated this while delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 52nd annual national conference of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Values in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

He said the issue of corruption was also in the institution, saying, “A client came to me and said he wanted to value his demolished property. I asked him, ‘how much?’ He said, ‘N200 million and I said we can go with that.

“The following day, he came back and said the property was N750 million. I asked, how? You were here yesterday and said it was N200million. Now, you have come to say something different, why?

“He said one of his estate value friends told him he could jerk up the property to any level,” he said, stressing that it was an issue of corruption which must be tackled.

“The problem of corruption can be seen in your organization like it is in any other organization. Then, there are quacks in the system. You must check these so that your image is not dented.

“When you are doing your job, you are not immune to being sued and your defence is not going to be that ‘I just valued the land.

“Planning that has been given to you to estimate without a piece of corresponding professional advice can lead to your personal culpability, as an individual and as a company.

“You can never be excluded from negligence. You will be held liable in an offence related to your profession. Even under the Advance Fee Fraud Act, the Criminal Code, there are areas where you will be held liable for malfeasance and for breach of trust.

“I recommend that you work hard to champion the cause of creating awareness in your core competency areas to make your profession different from others,” he stated.

the forefront, saying, “You must ensure that there are training and retraining of your members and people who work with you.”

Continuing, he said, “Look at the ways you can make big cities, our future cities to promote urban agriculture. Over 800million people worldwide practise urban agriculture.”

He said the role of the body was key, saying, “So you have gone past the stage of being hungry. You are Jack of all trades and master of all,” he stated.

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