Rising Cost Of Building Materials, A Challenge To Affordable Housing In Nigeria…Orji
Chief Daniel Orji, Chairman of Daniel-Bob Construction Limited has called on the Federal Government to check inflation in the cost of building materials to help Nigerians have access to decent shelters.
Oji told journalists in Awka on Wednesday that the cost of building materials must affordable to average Nigerian if the target of ensuring that Nigerians have their homes must be achieved within the shortest possible time.
The Developer who is handling the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) Housing Estate Scheme across the country said the recent increase in the cost of materials had affected cost of project execution adversely.
Orji called on the Federal Government to evolve policies that would keep building materials down including subsidy to developers, special foreign exchange rate for imported building materials and revamping of Ajaokuta Steel Mills.
“The problem with housing now, is that cost of building materials has skyrocketed, this has resulted to the serious increase in the cost of houses.
“The price of cement has gone up from N2, 400 last year to between N3,500 and N4,000 this year, 12mm rod of about N1,400 is about N2,500 now same thing for granite, so you see it will be difficult for people to build.
“Inflation is affecting progress in the housing sector operators in the sense that contract values become unrealistic at the point of delivery of the houses, it also makes it difficult for us to repay bank loans.
“Land is another issue, the cost of land with Certificate of Occupancy is very high, I want to call on governors to help cooperatives with cheap secured land.
“The Federal Government should subsidise building materials and the Central Bank of Nigeria should approve preferential foreign exchange rate for imported construction related materials.
“Revamping the Abeokuta Steel Mill will make rod and metal cheap unlike the present situation where some firms are using scrap to produce,” he said.
Oji blamed monopolistic structure of the market for the arbitrary increase and urged the Federal Government to encourage more players to come in so that competition would push down prices.
He said in spite he challenges, Daniel-Bob construction as a foremost player in the industry was doing its best to enable Nigerians including civil servants to own affordable houses.
The Developer urged workers to form cooperatives and take advantage of National Housing Fund and Mortgage Financing by partnering with Construction firms with capacity and track records.
“We have done for Police, we have done it for federal Ministry of Works and Housing and now we are undertaking the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) across the country, our goal is to help Nigerians have descent accommodation, “ he said.