Stakeholders have expressed worry over high cost of construction and taxation in the country.

They made the observation on Tuesday in Abuja, at the “Construction Industry Roundtable”, on the Appropriation Act 2022.

The event co-hosted by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), and the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI), was themed:  “Appropriation Act 2022 and the Outlook for Construction Industry”.

Speaking at the event, Mr Olayemi Shonubi, President NIQS said the aim of the forum was to bring in major players in the construction sector to identity major challenges in the industry and areas to engage government in advocacy to proffer solutions.

In addition, the forum would serve as a medium to engage government to make policy so as to make things easier for them in the sector.

Shonubi identified areas such as high level of taxation, prices in building/construction materials, and gassoline, uncondusive  environment for investors and the energy crisis in general.

“The taxation for example is the major areas to all of us, how do we engage the legislators so that there is a way they can look at to reduce some of the burdened areas to favour Nigerians.

“The bottom line is that the way the sector is right now, given the inflation, for instance the price of diesel, is very difficult for some of us to meet the demand in the sector.

” Earlier in the year we were buying diesel at about N400. 000, but now it is about N700.00 to N800.00 per a litre. It is difficult for so many people to cope,” he said.

He, however, called on government to create an enabling environment for private sectors to come in and invest in the construction of roads, houses and others as it could reduce the burden on the government.

He said the Nigerian construction industry is the major employer of labour in the country and increase in prices of other supporting commodities might cause people to be disengaged from the work places.

“Mark you, the Nigerian construction industry is the major employer of labour in the country.

“If you go to the construction site, there are so many people working there and of course, it has its own multiplier effects.

“Apart from workers that are engaged, you can talk of the suppliers of cement, sand, gravels and you have those women who cook food there for the workers,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Wike, President of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, expressed hope that the forum being the gathering of professionals in the construction industry, would make meaningful impacts at its end.

According to him, construction industry is one of the sectors to boost the nation’s economy and there gather to brainstorm to see how it will improve the sector in Nigeria.

Declaring the event open, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatundae Fashola, commended the two professional bodies for their collaborative initiative to achieve the objectives of 2022 Appropriation Act.

Represented by Mr Temitope Pemi, Head of Quantity Surveyor in the ministry, Fashola said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had recognised the contributions of the construction industry to the nation’s economy, Gross Domestic Product among others.

Source : NAN