The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Akwa Ibom State has urged the state government to streamline the functions of the Ministry of Lands/Water Resources and Ministry of Works in the area of lands acquisition and payment of compensations in the state.
It lamented that the continuous usurpation of the roles by the Works Ministry is embarrassing and counterproductive.
The State Chairman of NIESV, ESV. Obot Akpan, made the appeal on Saturday, during this year’s celebration of Valuation Day in Uyo, tagged, “Valuation: Key to Decision Making for Assets and Resources Optimisation.”
He said land acquisition and payment of compensation have been the statutory functions of the Ministry of Lands as enshrined in the Land Use Act, Cap 202, LFN, 1990, Sections 29(4)(b) and 29(4)(C), making the determination of the value of compensation the exclusive reserve of the Director of Lands in the Ministry of Lands/Water Resources.
Akpan said despite these provisions by the law, compensation value for compulsory acquisition is allegedly domiciled with the Ministry of Works in the state, a development that had led to incomplete documentation of historical data on land transactions.
He said, “The continued usurpation of those functions by the Ministry of Works as currently going on will very likely embarrass the government and exact great cost if not checked.”
Akpan, however, commended, the State Ministry of Lands and Water Resources on its vision, dynamism and bold steps in infrastructural projects delivery and staff welfare, the opening up of some public estates, mobilisation and payment of outstanding compensations on acquired public lands and reclaiming government lands/properties that hitherto encroached by communities etc.
Akpan who led others on a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Capt. Iniobong Ekong( retd) briefed him on the functions of the body which include, Valuation of assets/properties for all purposes, land acquisition/compensation payment, property rating/administration, property/facility management and property development and financing etc, calling on the state government to patronise them to contribute to the growth and development of the state.
Responding, the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, Capt Iniobong Ekong (retd), who was represented by the director of Town Planning Aniekan Akpan said, it was the responsibility of NIESV to give the value of lands to the state government for effective land administration.
He added that the ministry put in motion plans to ensure that every government land encroached upon is reclaimed.
The event featured a carnival float/road walk along major roads in the Uyo metropolis to sensitise members of the public on the contributions of the body to national development.