Desirous of an improved real estate sector in line with global practice, practitioners have been called upon to imbibe the principles of corporate governance going by its numerous advantages to decision making and management process.
Corporate governance is a concept by which companies and organisations and those in the helm of affairs are held to account or liable for failure of effective corporate governance structures.
The Chairman, Interim National Council on Induction, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, (NIESV), Gersh Henshaw who spoke at the 23rd Memorial Lecture and Fellows’ Induction in Lagos advocated that corporate governance framework should be developed with a view to improve performance of real estate professionals, create incentives for real estate market participants and promote transparent and well-functioning of the profession.
He stressed that real estate firms need to apply fairness, accountability, responsibility and transparency while all stakeholders in the business should also be clearly informed about company’s activities, what it plans to do in the future and any risks involved in its business strategies.
“Corporate governance systems and processes should be given adequate consideration in both the public and private sector. This is because estate surveying practice can be viewed from perspectives; the public and private. The public involve real estate practitioners in ministries, departments and agencies and the academic. The private sector comprise real estate services in the form of consultancy, advocacy, expert witness and perhaps the floating of non-governmental organisations”, he stated.
Henshaw warned that for high standard of professionalism to be maintained as well as to earn the respect of clients and the public at large, NIESV and other professional bodies in the built industry need to educate members on the importance of good corporate governance systems and processes in the real estate profession especially at a time in Nigeria history when the country is undergoing both technical and full economic recession.
“NIESV needs to consider the core principles of; sound system of management and internal control, ensure that the level of real estate practitioners’ remuneration is sufficient and reasonable, respect rights of members and facilitate the effective exercise of those rights, promote timely and balanced disclosure of material matters concerning the institution, actively promote ethical and responsible decision making within the institution, have a structure to independently verify and safeguard the integrity of real estate professionals and firms, establish and disclose roles and responsibilities of the management and statutory committees of the council among others”
According to him, there was the need to counsel distinguished fellows and those planning to set-up in the profession about the quality of the system from day one, in order to avoid the possibility of unexpected expenditure and future problems in an ever changing real estate environment.
NIESV President, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi harped on the need for members to improve themselves through regular reading, surfing the internet for materials that will help update their knowledge of the profession adding that they must remained dedicated and devoted in following the established virtues put in place by the founding fathers of NIESV.
“If there is a child that is not greater than his father, then the child is a failure. Let us go out and be the best in the world. If we don’t improve on ourselves, we can’t force people to hire us for high profile job”, he stated.
The Chairman of the occasion, Nweke Umezuruike charged fellows of the institution to observe the well established culture that makes NIESV a dignified body of professionals.