Nigerian estate surveyors and valuers who described themselves as land economists and strategic stakeholders in the built environment, have faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s assets declaration, indicating that, merely declaring assets was not enough to establish the worth of a public office holder.
The recent assets declaration by President Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo, has continued to receive commendation and condemnation from individuals and institutions.
William Odudu, Chairman, Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, ESVARBON, said what the two leaders had done was not, professionally speaking, dependable as asset declaration.
Odudu, who spoke at an interactive session with the media, said assets had to be documented, verified and valuated before they were declared, pointing out that the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, had the duty of inviting estate surveyors who were the ones statutorily and professionally qualified to do the verification and valuation of those assets.
“As a rule, the CCB should, after receiving assets from a public officer, his wife and children, not just the man alone, appoint a surveyor to valuate those assets. The declaration is not enough; there should be verification and valuation,” he insisted.
Without verification and valuation, he said further, it would be difficult, in the case of Buhari, to locate his five homes, two mud houses and 270 sheep, adding that nobody knew, as it was now, the value of Mr President’s houses, farms, orchard, just as nobody knew the nature and value of his two cars.
“The president has told us that he has four-bedroom residence, three-bedroom flat, two-bedroom flat and a two-bedroom mortgaged property in Bedford, UK. Where is the location of the four-bedroom residence and what house-type, is it bungalow or duplex? What is the value of each of the houses he has declared? We can only find answers to these posers through verification and valuation,” Odudu said.
According to him, asset valuation has the benefit of helping to check corrupt practices by politicians, stressing that the features, location and value of an asset needed to be established before it was declared.
It would be brought to cognisance that President Buhari had, a couple of weeks ago, declared that he had $150,000 (£100,000) in his personal account coupled with five homes and two mud houses as well as farms, an orchard and a ranch with 270 head of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses and a variety of birds, shares in three firms, two undeveloped plots of lands and two cars bought from his savings.
Osinbajo, who is relatively wealthier, said he had $1.4 million (£900,000) in his bank accounts plus a four-bedroom residence, three-bedroom flat, two-bedroom flat and a two-bedroom mortgaged property in Bedford, UK.

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