History Of Estate Management Practice In Nigeria

nigerian institution of estate surveyors and valuers niesv


The term estate has its roots in the word ‘etat’ which is a French derivative of the Latin word ‘statue’. This is because ownership of Estates ordinarily accords high status on its holder, thus ‘estate’ is generally used to refer to landed properties. Land from an estate manager’s perspective is not just the physical surface of the earth on which all human activities take place but also all resources beneath or above the cubic space, such as game, the crop on the land, and mineral resources within it, an estate therefore refers to resources within the air space and sub-surface of land, as well as all improvements on it such as buildings, crops, minerals, sea resources, games etc.

Estate Management can be likened to the management of our physical environment. The term Estate management can be used to refer to a specialist technical discipline covering a broad range of activities. Traditionally, it is known as a profession, which is concerned with valuation, leasing, management, taxation and utilization of land and resources, buildings and other structures on land, this definition is deemed too narrow in today’s terms to cover the full scope of what the professional Estate Surveyor does.

Today Estate management is defined as the planning, directing, supervising, coordinating and control of land resources with the aim of achieving the client’s objectives in the ownership of such estate, in other words, an estate manager is the professional who manages land resources and the built environment; with a view to ensuring that owners obtain optimal results from their investments. Estate management touches on every aspect of relationship between the society at large, individual owners and occupiers of land.


The origin of estate surveying and valuation dates to the beginning of time. At creation God established the Garden of Eden and put Adam and Eve in charge of it. Thus Adam and Eve were the first Estate surveyors and Valuers since Eden was the first estate known to man.

However, the evolution of Estate surveying and valuation as a distinct and recognized profession is a middle-age development, rooted in the feudal societies of Europe, the Lords of the Manor of the Medieval Europe owned extensive and sometimes far-flung landholdings, usually only a small portion of each of these estates was held and exploited directly by the land owners, the rest which constitute the bulk of these holdings, each landowner appointed stewards or agents to oversee their estates for them.

At the beginning, what was required of these stewards was that they were men of Honour, which could be trusted with fiduciary relationship. This explains the sobriquet, “Noble” sobriquet, ‘Noble’, which is attached to the profession of estate surveying and valuation. As time went on and the business of managing these estates increased in sophistication, the requirements for the job increased. First it became necessary that the practitioners keep pace with the ever-increasing demand of record keeping. Next knowledge of book-keeping was required to accommodate the accounting requirement involved and later on, the ability to tackle various proprietary and commercial relationships involved in managing these estates arose, thus estate profession became necessary.

The foundation of what is now known variously as Estate Management, Estate Surveying and valuation, or Land Economics was laid in the mid-eighteenth century. In the wake of the industrial revolution, a major re-organization took place in most parts of Europe. In the UK especially, this resulted in a massive population shift from rural to urban areas and a subsequent re-distribution of land rights and property interests.

At the dawn of the 19th Century, the Practitioners of various skills comprising estate management banded themselves into trade guilds. Later on, there were definite moves to form a distinct professional group to embrace the various classifications. The most serious move began in London on 27th June 1843 with the formation of The Land Surveyors Club. There were fits and starts in this respect until the establishments of the Surveyor’s Institution on March 23, 1868, which metamorphosed into the Royal Institutions of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 1946.

In 1954, some newspapers carried a report that a thirty-seven year old Nigerian, John Wood Ekpenyong, had graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Estate management from the University of London. He was the First Nigerian to do so.

In the wake of this announcement, however, a number of Nigerians went to the U.K in search of the Golden Fleece, through the study of Estate Management. While in the U.K these young men and women joined the Nigeria Students’ Union and other local groups and various professional bodies. For those who were reading for the RICs qualifications their ambition then on return to Nigeria was to set up a local body similar to the RICS.

The most prominent of these ‘student days ideas’ was the group, which included S.P. O Fortune Ebie, and S.N. Okeke, as well as Tim Odolomerun, who later became a quantity surveyor. Most of the members of this group returned to the country in the early 1960s.


Following the ‘student’s day’ idea, in 1960 there was a move to bring together all Nigerian Chartered Surveyors under one umbrella. During a visit to Nigeria in early 1963, D.R. Denman, formerly Head of Land Economy at the Cambridge University advised that the formation of an indigenous group of professional surveyors in Nigeria would better support the national economy of the newly independent state. Thus the first meeting of the Nigerian members of the RICS was held on Sunday, February 7, 1963 at the Apapa Residence of S.A. Oyewo, formerly of the Lagos Executive Development Board (LEDB). He served as the Secretary.

In 1965, that body was formally established and patterned after the RICS. The body, which was launched on December 18, 1965 at the J.K. Randle Hall, Lagos was named the Nigeria Institution of Surveyors. Among those present at the meeting were C.T. Horsfall, A.D. Anyiom, O. Akinola (Licensed Surveyors), J.W. Ekpenyong, Hope Harriman, S. O. Oyewo, S.P.O. Fortune Ebie, S. B. Oludemi, J.A. Oluwatondimu, F. A. J. Alufohai and M.O Ovonien (General Practice Surveyors). Soon after the launching, a letter was received from the Federal Government to the effect that only licensed Surveyors could practice.

The Registration of the NIS in 1965 brought to an end the effort to have an umbrella profession body in Nigeria like the RICS or the Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GIS) ironically, the same A. O. Kukoyi acting in His capacity, first as the Secretary General of the NIS and secondly as the Vice President of the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE) sent two separate letters of congratulation to the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers on the occasion of its first annual Conference held in Ibadan in 1976.


Following the failure to have an umbrella body, the RICS (General Practice), the B.Sc. (Estate Management) and the AAI groups came together to consider the formation of a body for the General Practice Surveyors in Nigeria. In the process, there emerged two separate groups, one was based in Lagos and the other in Ibadan. At the meeting of the Lagos Group, two names were proposed

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The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers; and
The Nigerian Institution of Valuers.

The Principal actors in Lagos Group at the time included J.W. Ekpenyong. S.B. Oludemi, O. Akindahunsi, F.A. O. Alufohai, S.O. Oyewo and O.A. Dosumu. About the same time, the Ibadan group was active in the formation of a similar professional body called the Nigerian Institution of Valuers and Estate Managers. The Principal motivators were E.A. Akinlade and Philip Warner, then Principal land officers in the Western State Civil Services.

The Commonwealth Foundation was established to foster the growth of the profession in the commonwealth. In June 1968, the foundation organized a seminar in London for Commonwealth Professionals in order to exchange ideas about the growth and development of various professions in commonwealth countries. Four Nigerian Professionals attended the seminar. They were J.W. Ekpenyong, A. O. Kukoyi (both of whom were sponsored by the Federal Government), S.B. Oludemi (who was sponsored by the RICS in his capacity as the Secretary, RICS Nigeria Branch) and O. Adegbemile, who at the time was in London on attachment to a Chartered Surveying Firm. One of the salient decisions taken at that seminar was to establish a body known as CASLE as an umbrella body for various disciplines in the landed profession in the commonwealth. CASLE was to be established on April 1, 1969 provided that indigenous professional bodies in the commonwealth were ready to join.

On returning home from the commonwealth Foundation Seminar, S.B. Oludemi called a meeting of the Lagos Group of General Practice Chartered surveyors which was held in J.W. Ekpenyong’s office on Broad Street, Lagos. Series of meeting were subsequently held culminating in the one held in O. Akindahunsi’s Office at the Nigerian Ports Authority, Lagos in November 1968. At the meeting, the two names earlier suggested by the Lagos group were copiously deliberated upon and it was resolved to adopt the name – The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV.

Earlier in 1969, the Lagos Group on learning that the Ibadan Group had also established a professional body known as The Nigerian Institution of Valuers and Estate Managers, requested S. B. Oludemi to contact the Ibadan Group with the aim of inviting them to join the Lagos Group. At a subsequent meeting of the Lagos Group to which the Ibadan group was invited, three important resolutions emerged:

To adopt the name earlier agreed upon by the Lagos Group, that is “The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers”
To hold the first annual conference of the newly established body in Ibadan.
To apply immediately for membership of CASLE.

At the same meeting a Protem Council was elected consisting of the following:

J.W. Ekpenyong, (President), F.A.J. Alufohai (Vice President), S.B. Oludemi (Secretary), S.K.O. Jagun (Treasurer), T.O. Folami (Assistant Secretary), A.W.A. Dawodu, I.O. Adonri, E.A. Akinlade, Ranami Abah and O. Akindahunsi (Unofficial Members)

Also a committee was appointed to prepare a draft constitution for the institution under the chairmanship of E.A. Akinlade. After CASLE was formally established on April 1, 1969, the Institution applied to join and was admitted as a foundation member. The first General Assembly of CASLE was held in Guyana in December 1969. S.B. Oludemi attended as a representative of the Institution and was there elected a member of its Education Committee.


In Nigeria, among the first set of General Practice Surveyors (now known in the country as Estate Surveyors and Valuers) were J.W. Ekpenyong, O. Akindahunsi, Hope Harriman, J. A. oluwatudimu, I.O Adonri, F.A.J Alufohai, S.B Oludemi, E.A. Akinlade, S.P.O Fortune Ebie, T.O. Folami, S.A. Masominu, A.A. Akinsehinwa, B.U. Ifediora, J.A. Umeh, S.K.O Jagun, R.G. Bamojo, E.A.I. Omorodion, Ranami Abah, O.A. Dosumu and E. Emenike. This first crop of Estate Surveyors and Valuers propelled the establishment and growth of the Institution.

At the formative stages of the institution, A. J. Shelley, then the Knight Frank and Rutley Nigeria (KFRN) was very active. Along with Geoffrey Gay, another senior partner of KFRN, he advised that the Institution should join the International Real estate Federation (FIABCI). Both of them also assisted in bringing the Institution into FIABCI. In 1971, KFRN sponsored J.A. Oluwatudimu as the Institution’s observer to the 22nd Annual Congress of FIABCI in Montreal, Canada, who on his return also reinforced the call for his institution to join FIABCI. An application to that effect was made early in 1972 at the congress in Paris. The Institution was formally admitted into the FIABCI at the meeting.

Hope Harriman, S.B. Oludemi, E.A Akinlade and G. A. Menkiti represented the institution. Nigeria thus became the first African Country to join FIABCI, Hope Harriman, the President and leader of the Institution’s delegation was also elected as the First World Vice President of FIABCI at that Congress.

The growth of the Institution’s membership was phenomenal. In 1954, there was only one Estate Surveyor and Valuer. By 1962, there were eight or so, in 1963, the number increased to about thirty and in 1965, it was forty seven. At the inauguration there were twenty four foundation Fellows.

The real motivators in the establishment of the institution were from RIC holders, the B.Sc. (Estate Management) graduates and AAI members and later on Government establishment officials, notably S.O. Oyediran (Western State), G.A. Menkiti (East Central Estate), J.A. Thomas (Lagos State), A.M. Idris (Kaduna state and D. Kazaure (Kano State) who were already the Chief Lands Officers in their respective states. They were bought in to strengthen the Institution, even though they did not fully meet membership requirements.

On 1st June 1970, the Institution was registered as a non-profit corporate body under the Land (perpetual succession) Act 1924. The Registered Trustees of the Institution then were J.W. Ekpenyong, F.A.J. Alufohai, S.B. Oludemi and O. Akindahunsi. All of these were Lagos based, for convenience. On 17th January, 1978, a second set of registered Trustees for the Institution made up of Hope Harriman, G.A. Menkiti, J.A. Oluwatudimu and A.J. Shelley, was constituted.

At its first annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Ibadan in July, 1976, it was resolved that those General Practice surveyors, who were registered as corporate members of the Institution as at 31st December, 1978, were to be designated foundation members. At the same meeting also, the national council was directed to decide on the appropriate designatory titles for members of the Institution. At a subsequent meeting of the Council, it was decided that Associate Members should be designated “ANIVS” and fellows with the letters “FNIVS”. These titles were later reflected in the Constitution of the Institution.

The First application for government recognition of the Institution was made in 1969, but not much progress was achieved until 1972 when Kemi Okunnu was the federal Commissioner for Works and Housing. Graham Douglas was then the Federal-Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. Between 1972 and 1975, these two facilitated government recognition culminating in the promulgation of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers (Registration etc.) Degree Number 24 of 1975, it is pertinent to note that Hope Harriman (then President of the Institution), S.B Oludemi (then National Secretary), C.A. Dosunmu (then Chief Federal Lands Officer) and Raami Abah (who was then in Private Practice), contributed to the success of the Institution’s struggle for this regard.

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The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers is a non-profit, voluntary, professional organization set up in 1969 to cater for the interests of the landed profession in Nigeria. The Institution was accorded official government recognition six years later by the promulgation of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Act (See Laws of Nigeria 1990, Volume 7, Chapter III), which is more popularly known as Decree Number 24 of 1975.


The Legislation established the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, ESVARBON, as a corporate body empowered to regulate the profession of Estate Surveying and Valuation in Nigeria.


Decree No. 24 of 1975 defines the profession of Estate surveying and Valuation as the art, science and practice of:

Determining the value of all description of property and of the various interest therein;
Managing and developing estates and other business concerned with management of landed property:
Securing the optimal use of land and its associated resources to meet social and economic needs:
Determining the structure and condition of buildings and their services before advising on their maintenance, alteration and improvement;
Determining the economic use of land resources by means of financial appraisal for the building industry; and
Selling (whether by auction or otherwise), buying or letting (as an agent) of real and personal property of any interest therein.


The objective of the Institution are four, namely:

To establish a high and reputable standard of professional conduct and practice in the landed profession throughout Nigeria.
To secure and improve the technical knowledge of its members and facilitate the acquisition of such knowledge by close collaboration with Universities, other Institution of Higher Learning and professional bodies;
To promote the general interest of the profession, maintain and extend its usefulness for the public good; and
To acquaint the public with the role of the Estate Surveyor and Valuer in the economic development of Nigeria.

Members of the institution have contributed their quota in pursuit of national goals and the general progress of the country, and to national discussion at private and public for a with a view to influencing the formulation of appropriate policies, especially on land matters.

Examples include advice on the evolution of an acceptable and workable land Policy for Nigeria; inputs towards the formulation of the national of the National Housing Policy; proposals on the basis of compensation for property loss or damage; and recommendation on property rating, including assessment, collection and management.

Individual members of the Institution made contribution to the relocation and development of the Federal capital, Abuja and in the formulation of a new land policy for Lagos State. They have also served at Lands tribunal and rent control panels both at state and Local Government levels; and have participated effectively in the development and management of urban areas.


The affairs of the Institution is run from a National Secretariat which is presently temporarily located at Flat 2B, Old Dolphin Scheme (Behind Federal Secretariat) off Oba Adeyinka Oyekan (second Avenue) Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

National Council elected annually by ballot manages the affairs of the Institution. The Council consists of the following categories of Officials viz:

Offices of the Council i.e. President, 1st and 2nd Vice President, National Secretary, Assistant National Secretary, National Treasure, National Publicity Secretary.
Past Presidents of the Institution.
Unofficial Members (ten)
Chairmen of the branches of the Institution
Co-opted members (two)
Representatives of professional bodies afflicted to the Institution.
Representative of Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria.

The Administrative staff of the Secretariat is headed by an Executive Secretary, who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Secretariat.


Membership of the Institution is open to all Nigerians, (and in certain cases to foreigners) trained in approved institutions both in the Country and abroad, there are three classes of membership namely corporate, non-corporate and honorary members. Corporate members are those who have undergone the prescribed training, experience and taken the appropriate professional test. Non-corporate Members, comprising Probationers and students are persons in the process of taking the qualifying professional test and examinations, but are attached to the Institution for the furtherance of their professional education. Honorary members are persons who are not engaged in the practice of the profession but by reason of position, experience or eminence assist in promoting the objectives of the institution. The Patron of the Institution is the Head of state and commander-in-chief of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while the State governors are the Vice-patrons of the Institution.

Membership structure is divided into the following cadres

Student (non-corporate)
Probationer (non-corporate)
Associate (corporate)
Fellow (corporate)
A fellow may have after his name the designating initials FNIVS; an associate may employ the initials ANIVS while a past president of the Institution will use PPNIVS.


The different cadres of membership of the institution have various conditions that have to be met by the applicants as follows:

Students: to qualify as a student member, one must be a bonafide student of Estate Management in an accredited institution of higher learning (Polytechnic, University).
Probationer: to qualify as a probationer one must be a graduate of Estate Management from an accredited Institution of Higher learning (Polytechnic, University). In an addition, one must be attached to a corporate member of the institution for a minimum period of two years during which the probationer will be expected to gain practical knowledge of the profession

In addition to the above categories of membership, non-graduates of Estate Management can also aspire to be estate surveyors e.g. graduate of other affiliated professions. For this category of people, the institution organizes the following professional examinations and election procedure.

First examination
Intermediate examination
Part 1 Final examination
Part 11 Final examination
Direct Final Examination
Test of Professional Competence (TPC): – Defense of Thesis/Election Interview.


The institution attaches great importance to the education of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Nigeria, with Emphasis on practical training and continuing professional development. Members of the Institution teach, full-time or part-time, in a number of tertiary Institutions in the country. Currently, about 10 (ten) universities and 15 (fifteen) polytechnics, offer full-time courses in Estate Management at undergraduate an post graduate levels. The Institution also organizes a non-formal but graduated training programme for those candidates who cannot undertake the regular full-time education in Estate Management.

In concert with the Registration Board, the Institution accredits Estate Management programmes in tertiary institutions in the country. Financial encouragement such as, assistance to write and publish professional books or to carry out research into specific areas of Estate Management, is made available to members of the Institution in the academia to support the personal sacrifices associated with their peculiar career paths.

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The Institution has also put in place a continuing professional development programme, which is a compulsory periodic refresher course for all corporate members. The programme is also used to disseminate current developments in all aspect of the profession.





In the History of the Institution, there are certain landmarks, which require specific mention. These include the following:

In 1969, two separate groups in Lagos and Ibadan merged to form a national professional body, now known as the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, abbreviated as NIESV.
In 1969, The Institution was admitted as a Foundation member of CASLE on April 1
In 1970, the First Annual Conference of the Institution was held in Ibadan, July 7-10, where the First National Council was elected.
In 1970, the First constitution of the Institution produced by the E.A Akinlade Committee was adopted by the Annual General Meeting of the Ibadan Conference.
In January, 1971, the Institution organized its first National Workshop on Nigerian Land Laws with a Keynote address by G.O.K Ajayi. It held in Lagos.
In 1972, the Institution was admitted as a member of FIABCI
In 1973, the institution hosted the economic Commission for Africa/CASLE Seminar on ‘Land Administration in Developing Countries’, in Ibadan.
In 1974, the first journal of the Institution, The Estate Surveyor and Valuer, was published with M.I. Lawal as the Editor-in-Chief.
In 1974, The Institution submitted a Memorandum to the Land Use Panel set up by the Federal Government. The work of the Panel was a precursor to the Land use Act (Cap 202 Laws of Nigeria 1990) better known as Decree Number 6 of 1978, even though the Institution’s recommendations and views were not reflected in the legislation that emerged subsequently.
In 1975, the Institution was accorded official government recognition via the Estate of Surveyors and Valuers (Registration Act) see Cap III, Laws of Nigeria 1990, which is also known as (Decree Number 24 of 1975)
In 1975, the institution submitted a memorandum to the Federal Government on the Location of a new Federal Capital Territory.
In 1978, the Institution moved into its first National Secretariat located at the Board Room of the Federal Housing Authority, FESTAC town, Lagos.
In 1979, the Institution, Secured the first plot of land for its National Secretariat at the Professional Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.
In 1983, the Institution organized its first Professional Examination, which it has conducted annually ever since
In 1986, The Institution floated a Debenture Stock in an attempt to raise funds for the development of its national Secretariat Building on its site at the Professional Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.


In the life of any organization, there are bound to be difficulties, and the Institution is not an exception. The following are some of the failures of the Institution over the Years:

The failure to develop its site at the Professional Center, Victoria Island, Lagos in view of the fact that all the other professional bodies which were allocated plots in the Center have developed theirs’.
The inability of their Institution to vigorously implement the continuing Professional Development Programme for the further education of its members.
The inability of the Institution to establish and maintain a good reference library at its National Secretariat.


The growth of the Institution will be sustained with improved membership in terms of quantity and quality. This growth will be realized through proper education of members of the Institution as well as the new entrants into the profession, maintenance of appropriate standards of Professional practice and sustained commitment to research into aspects of the profession. Currently, the activities of quacks is making severe negative intrusions into the practice of Estate Surveying and Valuation in Nigeria.

This menace can be reduced through corporate publicity, improved level of service delivery by members of the Institution and the pursuit of legislative action to control especially the practice of estate agency in Nigeria as it is done elsewhere in developed countries.

The long-term prospects for future corporate development of The Institution lies in four major areas:

Intensification of the quality of Education for both students and Practitioners;
Recruitment and retention of good and dedicated teachers in the various training programmes;
Elimination of quackery, through improvement in standards of professional practice; and
The continuous striving to improve the aggregate level of service delivery

The Institution should also strive hard to be more relevant in the formulation of Government Policies on land use and administration, including matters relating to housing and environment. For example, in the United Kingdom, Government always consult the RICS on any legislation affecting land matters. There is no reason why the Institution should not be so consulted in Nigeria. In addition the institution’s resolution at its Annual Conference should always be submitted to Government for consideration. It is the duty of the National Council of the Institution to ensure that such resolutions find favour in Government Policies.

Ultimately, the growth and Strength of the Institution in the future depends largely on its relevance in National Affairs, especially those relating to Land matters. The voice of the Institution must be heard on such issues from time to time, and it should not be afraid to do so for whatever reason. The hope for an enduring corporate development of the Institution lies in continuing education for its members, and productive research into crucial aspects of the profession, both of which should aim at examining topical national issues and providing appropriate solutions for the continued progress of the Institution in particular and the country in general.

In conclusion, the History of Estate Management is one of great interest and immense importance which has its root in history firmly established. Knowledge of the history will enhance and serve the interest of future generations of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. They will know and understand the advent, development and importance of their profession in their motherland and this will also serve the same purpose to the public at large to understand as well as appreciate the profession better.

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