The president of Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyor (NIQS) QS Mohammed Abba Tor speaks to Newsmen in Abuja at the 29th Biannual Conference of NIQS on the new ground the institute is breaking by bringing their services to the door steps of Nigerians. He also speaks on how the institute is trying to contribute in curbing the effect of climate change. Excerpts:
Q. May we know you officially?
A. My name is Mohammed Abba Tor, the President of the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors.
Q. Why are we here?
A. This is our 29th Biannual Conference, taking place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
In all of these we have targeted programmes, dinners (inauguration dinner and investiture dinner).
Q. Climate change and global disaster, what is your experience?
A. If you cast your mind on what is happening around the world, it is a very topical issue. Topical in the sense that in those days people do think that they are issues for advanced countries, but it is here in our environment.
As the water bodies are drying, we experience heat waves. All these as a result of climate change.
And we said okay, what we can do to contribute. That is why we put up such a programme. And that is the focus of that particular topic.
The objective is to sensitize policy makers in this country; To sensitize our politicians so that all of us can be on the same page.
Let us pay maximum interest in trying to address the issues relative to the topic. And thank God we are achieving the result because high level government officials and functionaries will be in attendance at the event.
Q. What are you doing to contribute to fight against building collapse?
A. Our position is always like this. We ask the developer to bring on board professional-qualified professionals.
Construction is highly technical, and if you don’t get those who are resourceful, and highly qualified to run that aspect for you.
So bring on board qualified professionals that are registered, and on whom regulatory bodies can take action on, in case of infraction.
And when you give them opportunity, allow them to play their roles as dictated by their ethics and code of conduct.
Once these issues are addressed, you will see a very minimal level of collapse. You cannot say it will be reduced completely, but the level will be drastically minimized.
Q. At the end of this meeting, what will be the take home?
The consciousness of the people should be raised about the contributions of quantity surveyors in curbing the effect of climate change.
Q. Since you became the president of this organization, what are the innovations you have brought on board?
A. We have done a lot of things too numerous to mention. We have entrenched corporate governance in NIQS as it is now. So decisions are no more subjective. Decisions are based on data. And now we are getting it right.
When we leave, those coming behind us will have principles of administration to guide them.
Then we have other issues. We have been signing foreign advocacy with agencies. We do sign an MOU, on fighting corruption.
In the area of membership drive, we have inaugurated some additional chapters to make sure that our message reaches to the grass root. Wherever you are in this country, you will have quantity surveyors very close to you.