Wike is estate surveyors’ 24th President, launches agenda for transformation

A give-pronged approach towards transforming and making its organisation the best professional-centric body has been launched by the new executive council of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV).

The initiatives, which the institution envisages will put it in the global map, fall into five categories. ONE: Aggressive drive for membership growth, TWO: Capacity building, THREE: Welfare improvement, FOUR: Advocacy and FIVE: Mediation and reconciliation.

The overall aim is to make the estate surveying and valuation profession more prominent, more visible, more impactful and indispensable in Nigeria and beyond, where the welfare of members will be paramount, and professionalism will be sufficiently rewarded.

The new NIESV President, Sir Emmanuel Wike who revealed the agenda at the weekend during his inauguration as the 24th president and chairman of the council in Abuja, said the event marks a new beginning, renewed commitment and a new spirit to uplift the institution.

However, Wike admitted that though the task ahead is enormous as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the problem is surmountable. “Rather than allowing the present challenges to intimidate or browbeat us into giving excuses, we would pursue creative and innovative programmes for professional and institutional transformation in the next two years.

“This is the time to dream big, time to aim high and assiduously work to achieve greater accomplishments. I firmly believe in our ability to successfully weather through the challenges and consolidate on the accomplishments of our past leaders,” he said.

Wike stressed that the institution will deliberately encourage probationer and graduate members to get elected into the professional membership grade with all necessary support and encouragement given to them on a continuous basis to initiate and conclude their elections within the shortest time possible, without compromising standards.

He said, the organisation will also undertake large amounts of research to push forward the boundaries of knowledge and frequently offer up policy challenges and solution, which can be tabled before relevant policymakers.

research, to become foot soldiers in defending our various roles, maintaining a strong bond between all segments of the profession especially Public, Academic and Private Practitioners as this relationship would help us in enjoying policies and research, which upon implementation shall be of tremendous benefit to private practitioners.

An institution such as ours should henceforth undertake large amounts of research to push forward the boundaries of knowledge and frequently offer up policy challenges and solution which can be tabled before relevant policymakers. NIESV Learning Centre and the College of Estate Management remain veritable platforms to boost researches, training, knowledge, skills acquisition and competencies. Reinvigoration of these potential capacity building outlets shall be given utmost attention and consideration.

WELFARE IMPROVEMENT: As a professional body that adds huge value to the society, the wellbeing and fortunes of our members shall be a major priority of this administration. Welfare packages for all categories of our members, including the elders and newly elected members shall be developed.

We are assuming the responsibility of frequently assessing the needs of our members, planning ahead and responding to existing trends to ensure the protection of existing privileges, while remaining open to new opportunities and responding to new threats.

Since our profession is service-based, we would make deliberate efforts to build a strong brotherhood where every one of us, particularly the young and upcoming Estate Surveyors and Valuers would be accommodated. We would fashion out means of encouraging the upcoming professional members so that they would not lose interest in the Institution. It is time to arrest “the mighty takes it all” syndrome and re-orientate along the path of professional collaboration, as against professional competition.

In other words, genuine emphasis shall be placed on members’ welfare, with better structures and strategic processes initiated within the Institution and among stakeholders to encourage and facilitate the initiative. This has become necessary in order to ensure that every Estate Surveyor and Valuer is reasonably empowered economically.

In a nutshell, we are reassuring our esteemed members of our readiness to vigorously advocate for enabling environment for practices to thrive, to influence government policies to our advantage, thereby ensuring the survival of every one of us, particularly under the current harsh economic situation in the country.

ADVOCACY: Advocacy is key, strategic and crucial to the continued relevance of our profession. Advocacy remains a fundamental responsibility of our Institution. We shall add vigor to our engagements with critical stakeholders, particularly government at all levels, ministries, agencies and parastatals, financial institutions etc. We shall ensure the improved relationship with these tiers of government and agencies in the overall interest of our profession.

A channel of communication at the three levels of government; Federal, State and Local, including the MDAs shall be opened to ensure the sustainability of our advocacy drive. The Legislature and MDAs would be penetrated to unbundle our laws with regards to Estate Surveying and Valuation Practice, with the aim of confronting undue incursion into the core areas of our practice.

For this purpose, a National Assembly/Federal Executive Council (FEC) Desk shall be opened at the Secretariat, with the desk officer liaising with the National Assembly and all the arms/tiers of Government.

Advocacy would be a mirage if we fail to build a strong media image. We shall fully and effectively utilize the media to educate the public about our various services.

We shall also build a strong economic and real estate analysis team to discuss and itemize the impacts of various government policies and programmes on real estate. This team shall be the fulcrum to examine government policies in terms of assets value in Nigeria.

Disagreements are normal in societies and organizations, crisis and consensus are an ongoing process, but conscious and deliberate efforts must be made not to allow conflicts to destroy our fundamental cohesion.

We are not oblivious of acrimonies, grievances within the Institution, genuine or otherwise. Over the years, our politics has become poisoned, rancorous and divisive. The truth is that our challenges emanate largely from the manner in which we have managed our politics. As we enter into a new dawn in the annals of our Institution, windows shall be opened for mediation and reconciliation to allow aggrieved members express themselves without destroying the altar of discipline, with structures instituted to address future skirmishes.

My goal is to run an administration that recognizes strength in our diversity as a people, hoping that this well-meant stance will be reciprocated. We should not squander the moment. At the end of the day, whatever we do or choose not to do must be intended to benefit all our members.
After due consultation, I hereby appoint the following into Presidential Mediation and Reconciliation Committee:
ESV (Alhaji) A. O. Shote, PPNIVS
ESV (Ven.) L. L. Eso, PPNIVS
ESV Emeka Eleh, PPNIVS
ESV Claire Chizea, FNIVS
ESV Dogondaji Shehu, FNIVS
ESV Blessing Kalu, ANIVS

Above all, we must always remember and realize that we hold and run this profession in trust. It belongs to future generations whose possibilities must never be mortgaged as a result of decisions of expediency we might selfishly make today. The unity and progress of the Institution must not be compromised. We are a strong Institution, and we shall maintain strength so sufficient that it need not be proven in combat, but on the nobility of ideas. We will be ever vigilant and never vulnerable, and we shall assertively but honourably confront centrifugal forces.

I humbly appeal to all of us to embrace each other in defining a new destiny. As we do so, we would never remain hostage to our past. ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF REVENUE: This is another critical challenge we must confront frontally with a view to resolving one way or the other. Our profession has gone through many developments in the last five decades. While we cannot change the past, there is a lot we can do in the present and future to give our profession a different and a positive direction.

Ours is a great profession endowed with rich potentials and abounding in many opportunities for everyone who comes into it, yet the debt profile of our members is huge and intimidating. We cannot be doing things the same way and expect different results. We need to strengthen our practices to flourish, earn fees on a continuous basis because professionals live on fees. It is time to embrace Partnerships. Hundreds of businesses around the globe are running with partnerships. It guarantees a healthier chance of achievement than any of the associates practicing separately, in so much as every partner will come in with their own knowledge, strength, expertise, involvement, and contacts. Practicing partners can portion out jobs; with each concentrating in areas of their competencies.
On our part, the Council shall reinvigorate the NIESV Ventures and make it to serve the purpose for which it was established while exploring other income-generating avenues. Even governments are privatizing and commercializing businesses and services in today’s world. It is time to rebrand and repackage NIESV Ventures and make it an income-generating outfit for the Institution, and ultimately reduce the burden of subscription on our members.

The National Secretariat building in Gudu, Abuja has been roofed. Concerted efforts will be made to consolidate on the great achievement of the immediate past administration by pursuing more vigorously the development of the Secretariat until it is completed and made functional. This would enhance the visibility of our profession as well as positioning the Institution more prominently in the Nation’s capital and the seat of power.

: We cannot achieve our lofty goals without an effective and efficient secretariat. The secretariat is key to the attainment of our goals. It is supposed to be our ‘thinking’ faculty, where ideas shall be germinated, generated, prepared for consideration, and promptly implemented upon adoption.

The Secretariat shall be enabled to carry out its statutory roles and responsibilities. The staff shall be encouraged to be creative, and innovative in carrying out assignments that would be beneficial to our members and the Institution at large. For best performance and career growth, we will expose our employees to structured, accelerated and strategically focused management and leadership training.

Enabling the working environment shall be sustained for the staff to ensure career progression and development. Human and resources management ideology will be brought to the fore so as to make the Secretariat a source of pride to the Institution.

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BOARD: NIESV & ESVARBON represent two sides of a coin. The regulator cannot exist without regulated and vice versa. The relationship between the two organizations has not been cordial in the recent past. Yet we need ourselves. We are compelled to work harmoniously together for the interest of the profession.

My administration shall ensure the restoration of cordiality between the two bodies by creating and fostering a relationship oiled by effective communication, mutual respect and trust, three super important parts of a healthy relationship.

We have always demonstrated our capacity as an Institution to navigate through challenges without allowing our fundamental cohesion to be threatened or disrupted. We came out of previous challenges stronger, and I am confident of our capacity to come out of the present COVID-19 pandemic with its attending disruption of the economy and economic activities, business, and lifestyle stronger. That we successfully conducted our Council elections and we are having a virtual Annual General Meeting and the investiture of my humble self as the 24th President of our great Institution bore eloquent testimonies to the fact that we are already marching through the global calamity.

Distinguished Noble Colleagues, these are unusual times. I am assuming the leadership of our great Institution at a time when the entire world system is at its knees and confusion reigns in every aspect of the economy and life. Our country is not insulated from this downward global slide, neither is our Institution. I imagined the situation which prompted Apostle Paul to write in 2 Corinthians 4:8 that ‘’we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair,’’. He proceeded to write in verse 16 of the same chapter that ‘’we fail not’’, despite the frightening and unpalatable experiences he had gone through.

Today by the special grace of God, my colleagues in Management, National Council and I are forging ahead in the same spirit of faith, bearing in mind that providence and the divine arrangement has placed on our shoulders the responsibility of holding the banner of leadership at a time like this, after all, the real test of leadership do not occur when everything is smooth sailing, for each new crisis is unique in its own way and require a different approach from the one used before.

COVID-19 has taught us lessons in Proactivity. It has brought to the fore the need to refocus and re-strategize, to leverage on opportunities available for professions and organizations in this passing period and thereafter. We are set to enter into a world of great changes. The old order is crumbling fast, we have to get ourselves prepared and equipped with necessary skills in order to compete favourably well in the emerging business model and make the best of it, otherwise we would be left behind. We are expected as professionals to exercise professional judgment in performing our roles so that when the time changes, we would not undertake actions that will result in the profession losing the public’s trust as service providers.

One other reality that we must embrace and institutionalize in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed by governments all over the world is the deployment of technology and digitization in the conduct of our operations and activities if we must remain relevant and impactful in this dispensation. It is evidently clear that we are entering into a digital economy, and of course, technology shall be playing a prominent role from henceforth and for an organization to survive in this dispensation, it must embrace technology. That we are conducting a virtual AGM today is an indication that we are moving in the direction of the new world order. Subsequently, we shall step up the application of technology to our practices and operations. Our professional training and professional examinations shall be tailored to follow suit.

It might be necessary to partner with a High Tech organization in the light of the foregoing, investing in relevant technology applications should be acknowledged as a step in the right direction.

CONCLUSION: At this juncture, I think it is appropriate to reiterate our resolve to offer accountability and transparency in leadership. Aside from ethical leadership, I cannot fathom any other fundamental quality that guarantees trust, professional continuity and sustainability in the real estate practice and our noble profession.

Noble Colleagues, no leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve. It is the people from whom leaderships draw strength and this administration is no exception. We shall run an open door administration, we shall listen to ourselves, feel our pulses, support our needs and fortify the faith and trust in us whom you elected to lead the Institution at this auspicious time.
Flexibility would be built into our operations so the machine of administration does not become one huge, ponderous stumbling block to decisions that must be made and communicated expeditiously. We shall provide numerous avenues for direct engagement with you all because we firmly believe that the inputs and involvement of every member of the Institution are required for us to succeed and deliver on our mandate.

We stand to gain a lot if we harmonize efforts and resources to build a virile and enduring Institution that can cater to the needs of each other. We will act in the interest of everyone; we will be there for all.

Noble Colleagues, we are standing on the threshold of history today. A new culture must now inform and animate our conduct. In unity, and with a common resolve, NIESV will be BIGGER, BETTER and MORE BENEFICIAL to all. Your support will guarantee NIESV’s positive growth and we shall all succeed together.

I hereby pledge to serve NIESV with love, strength and faith.
Thank you for listening.

Long Live NIESV
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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