Amid controversy generated by the new land survey fees in Lagos area, the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) has shunned media inquiries and comments on the land charges that begun on April 1..
The Lagos chapter of the institution, had raised the land survey plan fees by over 300 per cent, starting from April 1. The fees cut across different zones of the state. For instance, Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry Ojo and Ajeromi Ifelodun local government that is currently N120, 000 it has been increased to N350, 000.
While Lagos Island, Eti- Osa, Ikeja and Papa, which is presently N300, 000 now is going for N1million. Somolu, Alimoso, Mushin, Agege, Ibeju Lekki, Kosofe, Lagos Mainland, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, formerly pegged at N180, 000 has been hiked to N650, 000.
Members of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) are not allowing the matter to lie low. REDAN has engaged the services of a law firm and threatened to go court.
In a letter to the surveyors, counsel to REDAN, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, asked the surveyors to suspend the implementation of the proposed increment, in order to give room for further interaction and dialogue, with all stakeholders in the building industry.
REDAN also made a case that the increment will have a ripple effect on the cost of land as other professionals involved in the real estate business such as lawyers, architects, engineers, and town planners will also increase the cost of their own services, which will all be borne by the end users. “It will also rubbish the efforts of government towards achieving affordable housing.”
REDAN therefore appealed to the surveyors to convey a meeting of all stakeholders in order to discuss and agree on the best modality for any review of professional fees in land related matters.
Adegboruwa however warned that REDAN will challenge the proposed increment in court, should the surveyors insist on implementing the policy as stated.The letter read: “Our clients consider it improper to increase the cost of survey plans at this time of economic recession, especially considering the ripple effect that such a step may have on other stakeholders within the built industry, such as architects, engineers and lawyers, etc, who are also members of their association.
“The planned increment will also impact negatively on the policy of affordable housing being promoted by the present administration at all levels. Our clients have also consulted the various statutes regulating this matter and they are yet to be convinced of the legal basis of this increment at this time.
Consequently, we have our clients’ instructions to request you to kindly prevail on your organisation and its members to suspend the implementation of this policy and to allow for further interactions, dialogue and discussions, between all the relevant stakeholders in the real estate business.
“ In compliance with statutory requirement to explore alternative dispute resolution mechanism, kindly indicate to us in writing within five clear days of your receipt of this letter, of your kind disposition towards the meeting suggested herein, failing which we have our clients’ further instructions to take out a writ of summons in court to determine the legality of such increment, to take out an order of injunction to restrain the implementation thereof and to determine other ancillary legal issues,” they added.
By Ijeoma Nwachukwu