The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State branch, has called for the re-acquiring of abandoned buildings to the government.

The institute made this call at the investiture of the 28th chairman and the executive committee members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos branch which was held recently at Muson Centre, Onikan.

The newly elected chairman of the Institute, Gbenga Ismail, said an investigation needed to first be done on why the buildings are abandoned.

He said, “Abandonment can occur in cases of lack of funds, people are oblivious of what is happening with the property owner, we have to investigate why these buildings are abandoned. However, for those that the owners cannot be found again, the government should take them over, re-acquire them and put them back into the mainstream to generate revenue, that way abandoned properties would be reduced.

“Buildings cannot remain untouched and unused for a length of time; there is a law that says that if a building has not been used for over 12 or 15 years, then something needs to be done about it.”

In the same vein, the Honorary Publicity Secretary, NSEIV, Lagos Branch, Abidemi Ojo, said the effect of abandoned buildings could be a resultant effect of the cost of construction and government policies.

He said, “After doing a critical analysis of the building, those properties can be bought over by the government from the owners, a publication can be made in this regard because there are people struggling to get to the completion of these buildings. In addition, there are slum areas which came to place as a concept of illegality because of the lack of planning, the government can also buy these places, and then compensate the owners, after buying these it can be made a new city with lots of green bridging the affordability gap.”

Meanwhile, the Managing Partner at Samson Agbato Consulting, Emmanuel Ebede, emphasised the importance of initially determining the number of abandoned buildings in the country.

He said, “Currently, we lack comprehensive data on the extent of abandoned structures. It is imperative to establish a database to compile this information, which can then be analysed to assess the potential value of revitalising these assets and subsequently contributing to our Gross Domestic Product.”

On his part, the newly elected chairman emphasised the importance of unity and collaboration within the state branch.

He said, “We are a diverse group of professionals with unique skills and experiences, and it is through our collective efforts that we can achieve excellence in the field of Estate Surveying and Valuation. In the coming months and years, my vision for this branch is to foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning.

“We will strive to stay at the forefront of industry trends and data analysis, embrace technology and adapt to the changing landscape of real estate and valuation. By doing so, we will not only enhance our professional capabilities but also provide greater value to our clients and the public. In this regard, our slogans are membership experience, welfare, advocacy and leadership.”

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