Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has called on the National Assembly to urgently remove the 1978 Land Use Act from the constitution.
President of the body, Mr. Rowland Abonta, said that it would be suicidal for the current call to be ignored, lamenting that the rigidity of the Act was making it difficult for professionals to meet up with the dynamics of the economy and environment.
Abonta spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday during a seminar on ‘Continuing Professional Development’ organised by NIESV. Removal of the Act, he said, has become very necessary following the technological development in the field and the steady change in land development.He, however, regretted that the Act, which was long overdue for review, had remained as originally assented to.
“What we are saying is, take away the Land Use Act from the constitution and let it stand on its own, to meet the dynamics of our economy, environmental requirements and the needs for land as they vary often,” he said.
Expressing concern over the degradation of Ogoniland, NIESV called for a thorough and urgent clean-up of the area. Abonta noted that if the clean-up in the Niger Delta region was not properly done, it would lead to land stigmatisation in the area and might consequently scare away businesses and prospective investors, thereby robbing the people of development.
Similarly, Prof. Iyenemi Kakulu, who spoke on ‘Sustainable Land Management in Oil Producing Communities’, said that several communities in Niger Delta were increasingly becoming notorious for heightened environmental degradation.She stressed the need for urgent attention in the communities, warning that they might otherwise run the risk of becoming stigmatised, thus closing doors to development.
“Investors are usually not prepared to take the unnecessary risks and will resort to using alternative locations due to stigmatised lands,” she added.
First vice president of NIESV, Emma Wike, said that the seminar was aimed at getting members acquainted with the latest trends in the profession, to enable them compete favourably with their colleagues in other countries.He called on government to involve professionals in decision-making as regards land acquisition and management, saying that such would strengthen the policy and bring advancement in the country.