Providing affordable housing for the populace has been a challenge for many administration as all efforts to close the gaps in building construction remains a mirage.
This is the crux of the deliberations by Stakeholders in the building and Housing sub-sector in Abuja on alternative ways to develop building construction materials away from the conventional, such as cement to make housing available and cheaper.
According to the various speakers at a National workshop on Addressing Housing challenges of low and medium income earners through the alternative building material needs a renewed approach in order to resolve the deficit of housing in the country.
The Director-General Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, NBRRI at the opening of the event noted that most leaders, the world over were working to provide affordable houses for their citizens and Nigeria must not be left out.
The Director-General said 60-70 percent of building was centered on material hence the need to utilise alternative building material to reduce cost and accommodation problems.
Prof Duna notified the stakeholders that NBRRI through the Agency‘s activities had carried out comprehensive integrated technology to develop environmentally friendly and energy-efficient innovations in construction and manufacturing materials that are cost-effective.
The Director-General emphasised that for any material to be alternative, it must be available and cost less.
In his remarks, the Minister of Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola while speaking on the theme for the workshop pointed that, it became imperative for stakeholders to put together a new sustainable framework to identify local materials for the manufacturing and building industries.
The Minister represented by Mr. Basir Usman expressed the belief that the meeting would come up with a platform to enhance the development of indigenous building materials, encourage standards and regulate local production for sustainable construction industry and reduce the importation of foreign building materials.
Also, the President Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria Dr Victor Onugwugha represented by the 2nd Vice President William Idakwoji decried the situation where some governments took over the responsibility of the Corporation which has led to incessant building collapse and improper planning of cities and use of fake building materials in recent times.
He noted that the role of Housing Corporation cannot be over emphasised as evidenced in most states of the country hence the need for Federal Housing Authority to empower them to replicate same to alleviate the plight of Nigerians for accommodation.
“The ministry of Housing both at the Federal and state levels should concentrate on providing an enabling environment and supervision for the housing Agency to fulfill its statutory mandate “. He said
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Mrs. Monilola Udoh who declared the workshop opened affirmed that there was no better time than now when most Nigerians could not afford houses of their own to address the problem associated with affordable housing.
Mrs Monilola Udoh could not hide her delight on the caliber of resource persons and the level of cooperation among the stakeholders in the building sub-sector and pledged the ministry’s commitment to supporting NBRRI achieve its mandate.