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Ozekhome charges estate valuers on ethical conduct

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Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, has called on the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers to endeavour to uphold its professional practice and weed out bad eggs within the body.

Ozekhome stated this while delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 52nd annual national conference of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

He said the issue of corruption was also in the institution, saying, “A client came to me and said he wanted to value his demolished property. I asked him, ‘how much?’ He said, ‘N200 million’ and I said we can go with that.

“The following day, he came back and said the property was N750 million. I asked, how? You were here yesterday and said it was N200million. Now, you have come to say something different, why?

“He said one of his estate valuer friends told him he could jerk up the property to any level,” he said, stressing that it was an issue of corruption which must be tackled.

“The problem of corruption can be seen in your organisation like it is in any other organisation. Then, there are quacks in the system. You must check these so that your image is not dented.

“When you are doing your job, you are not immune to being sued and your defense is not going to be that ‘I just valued the land’.

“Planning that has been given to you to estimate without a corresponding professional advice can lead to your personal culpability, as an individual and as a company.

“You can never be excluded from negligence. You will be held liable in an offence related to your profession. Even under the Advance Fee Fraud Act, the Criminal Code, there are areas where you will be held liable for malfeasance and for breach of trust.

“I recommend that you work hard to champion the cause of creating awareness in your core competency areas to make your profession different from others,” he stated.

He urged the body to ensure that building and managing cities in the country was put in the forefront, saying, “You must ensure that there are training and retraining of your members and people who work with you.”

Continuing, he said, “Look at the ways you can make big cities, our future cities to promote urban agriculture. Over 800million people worldwide practise urban agriculture.”

He said the role of the body was key, saying, “So you have gone past the stage of being hungry. You are Jack of all trades and master of all,” he stated.

Declaring the conference open, former Governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia, said holding the conference in Port Harcourt was historic.

“As an annual conference, decisions are taken, many things are being ordered and organised according to the theme of the conference.

“It will go down in history that decisions, plans, ideas to elevate Nigeria to a higher level to cities like New York and other cities in the world were taken in Rivers State under the able leadership of the President of NIESV, Emma Wike

“We in Rivers State used to pride ourselves that outside Lagos State, Port Harcourt is the most beautiful, most developed city in Nigeria.

“The Rivers State government is ready and willing to join hands with any institution and anybody in the development of Rivers State. Your role is enormous, your role is needed in the development of the state,” he added.

As a body, he said, “You can go beyond the functions of individual members of the institution to correct the ills in the development of the state.

“In some areas, we have floods because some people go out of their way to build on the waterways,” Omehia said.

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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