The real estate sector is confronted with a significant challenge, which is the constant conflicts and disputes among professionals working in the industry, experts have said.

This was as they expressed concern that the increasing rivalry among professionals involved in the construction of houses was inhibiting the growth of the sector.

The experts reacting to several issues in the real estate sector, particularly building collapse amongst other challenges, said one of the ways to solve the rivalry was for operators specialising in a particular field within the industry.

Starting the discussion on the Housing Development Advocacy Network WhatsApp chat, the former President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Chucks Omeife, said many professionals became building construction experts once they were opportune to work in a construction company or just pass through a construction site, a situation he termed as amateurish.

He said, “The obvious problem in the built environment is not lack of capacity but professionals trivialising other professionals in the built environment. What capacity does an architect, a quantity surveyor or an estate surveyor or an engineer have based on his training to manage the process of building construction?

“This is exactly the problem in the built environment and is mainly as simplistic as it is the reason why buildings will continue to collapse in Nigeria. The built environment professionals are the problems of the industry.”

 According to him, many professionals in the built environment become experts in what they are not trained for but in what they observed happening on building sites over some time.

“This is the reason why the industry has become all comers’ affairs. No respect for professionalism. And when a building collapses, the utterances of those professionals who think they know are annoying and misleading,” Omeife noted.

In his submission, a real estate professional, John Olubayo, explained that the real estate sector does not need a whole faculty of building professionals to construct a one-storey building.

“It is a function of scale and relative complexity of the project at hand. I don’t think you need to be a building professional to be a property developer. It is all about accessing/assembling the right mix of professional skills for each project. I, however, see some professional rivalry at play here,” he submitted.

However, an estate surveyor and valuer, Femi Oyedele, differed.

He said though Nigeria was still far from true professionalism in all ramifications, professionals who did building construction in their training should be able to build a house using artisans and tradesmen.

Oyedele, who is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fame Oyster and Co, stressed that a project manager is not necessarily an expert in the subject but somebody who is an expert in project management.

“I believe all the professionals who did building construction in their training should be able to build a house using artisans and tradesmen. They will be better than the non-professionals in handling construction work. Nigeria is still far from true professionalism in all ramifications. A pharmacist still diagnoses patients even though there are auxiliary nurses in private hospitals. I will tolerate a quantity surveyor handling construction works more than an accountant doing the same.”

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