BusinessDay

Asset valuers canvass sale of FG’s idle properties to fund economy

Asset valuers under the aegis of Association of Capital Market Valuers (ACMV) have canvassed the sale of Federal Government’s properties that are rotting away in various parts of Nigeria, especially Lagos. The valuers have also recommended that the proceeds from such sales should be used to fund recurrent expenditure and help the economy.

The association, which was on a working visit to the Head Office of BusinessDay Media Limited in Apapa, Lagos on Tuesday, advised that rather than borrowing or raising bonds to pay salaries and fund the economy, the government should sell off those asset to private individuals and organisations.

“Alternatively, the government should value those asset, which includes roads and buildings in strategic locations in major Nigerian cities, and appoint facilities managers to manage them. They could also be tenanted and be yielding income for government,” Chudi Ubosi, chairman of the association, said.

The large number of those abandoned properties, which Ubosi estimated at 25,000, has been a source of concern to many Nigerians. The buildings, which have been overtaken by grass, are seen as environmental problems and, to some experts, they speak to a nation’s inability to manage its asset for the benefit of its people and the economy.

The buildings, mostly located in Lagos Island, include, the old Federal Secretariat Complex in Ikoyi, the Nigerian External Telecommunications (NET) building in Marina, the Defence House (formerly Independence Building) and the former Navy Headquarters building in Marina.

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“Lack of proper valuation of asset, which runs across various sectors of the economy, is part of the reason for this association,” Ubosi said, noting that many company’s come to list in the capital market without dependable valuation of their asset that could help investors.

He highlighted the role of ACMV and its services in capital market operations, urging companies to engage the services of asset valuers and estate surveyors before listing on the capital market.

“Companies come to the capital market to raise funds, and we are not taken into consideration. Raising funds in the capital market is not about just valuing the company, it also entails valuing the asset of the company,” Ubosi said, pointing out that part of their challenges as asset valuers was that “people don’t want to pay because they think it is a waste of time.”

He explained that valuations in a stable economy should be done every three or four years, but in an unstable economy such as Nigeria, where inflation is consistently on the rise, valuations should be carried out every two years to take care of inflation and reflect reality.

Ubosi disclosed that the association also works with banks in terms of auctioneering. “We assist banks in identifying asset that could be taken as collaterals for loans. This is to ensure that banks don’t get to the stage where they need to sell the properties, and if they have to sell, it would be as easy as possible to achieve that,” he added.

Demola Adetola, secretary of the ACMV, said that part of their role is to ensure there is transparency and integrity in the capital market. “One can do that by making sure the books are transparent and whatever it is that is the value of your asset is acceptable and known to all,” he said.

He noted that foreigners come into the market with valuers from overseas, thereby going against the code of the securities and exchange commission (SEC), which states that the valuation of any asset that is brought to the capital market must be done by a registered valuer which must be from Nigeria and registered with SEC.

The ACMV is a part of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), a body that deals in real estate, asset valuations, facility management, agency letting, sales, property development, and advisory services when it comes to real estate.

According to Ubosi, the association’s membership is about 50 while NIESV has over 5000 estate surveyors and valuers as members.

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