AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

A framework for determining the compensable value of damages due to contamination to wetlands in the Niger delta of Nigeria

by V Akujuru

Institution: University of Salford, Manchester
Department: School of the Built Environment
Year: 2014
Keywords: Built and Human Environment
Record ID: 1402089
Full text PDF: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/33185/


Abstract The valuation of any property follows a process which if followed results in a reasonably consistent determination of value. While the valuation of properties usually traded in the market is reasonably rampant and within the everyday pre-occupation of the professional valuer, the valuation of contaminated land occurs occasionally and poses serious challenges to the valuer in the absence of any framework. The issue of contamination by oil pollution has been very rampant in the Niger Delta wetlands of Nigeria and valuers called upon to assess damages resulting there from have had to adopt valuation processes prescribed for marketable real properties and neglecting to value the ecosystem goods and services that exist in the wetlands, due to the absence of any framework for such valuations. The valuation methods used in valuing properties compulsorily acquired by Government being adopted in valuing contaminated properties including wetlands is contrasted with that used for assessing the compensable value of damages due to contamination and the existing valuation framework examined to confirm its applicability to valuing contaminated wetlands. This research aims to develop a framework for the assessment of the compensable value of damages due to contamination to wetlands by oil pollution in the Niger Delta wetlands. The research adopts an interpretivist philosophy, an abductive logic with a mixed method approach and a case study strategy to examine the valuation practice when faced with the challenge of valuing an oil contaminated wetland in the Niger Delta. The case study strategy afforded the opportunity to apply several data collection techniques and analysis. It is argued the behaviour of valuers is a subjective phenomenon that should be interpretatively studied to understand valuers’ behaviour. Literature and documents were deductively analysed while a questionnaire survey was conducted among the valuation firms and triangulated with data from semi-structured expert interviews of some purposively selected firms. The thesis suggests the definition of value of contaminated wetlands should be a special and not a market value, as the assumption of willing sellers and buyers does not apply in contamination situations. It is suggested that the physical composition of wetlands be recognised and an appropriate framework incorporating both the upland and wetlands components be adopted for its valuations. Finding that valuers anchor their practice and frequently adopt the pre-determined compensation method of valuation to assess the value of contaminated wetlands, it concludes that the resultant paltry compensation is partly responsible for the Niger Delta conflicts and does not comply with international best-practices, and also engenders discontent among the stakeholders of a contaminated wetland valuation. The thesis contends that this practice originates from the inadequate valuation curricular and absence of a Standard of Practice, and recommends the inclusion of wetland economics in a revised valuation…