Lafarge Africa held the fifth edition it’s public policy thought-leadership series, Concrete Ideas, recently in Lagos where the leading building solutions company, Lagos state government and expert advocate tall and safe buildings as solution to Nigeria’s urban housing challenges.

Speaking on the theme of the conference, the country Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa Plc Mr Khaled El Dokani noted that the development of high-rise building is a current trend in modern cities all over the world, mainly to overcome the challenges of urban overpopulation and for the optimal use of scarce land resources.

He mentioned that the slow growth of the concept of vertical cities compared to the dashing growth of the country’s population will continue to heighten the arduous challenge of housing in Nigeria’s urban cities such as Lagos and Abuja.

Mr Khaled El Dokani applauded the Lagos state Governor for the massive infrastructural development that the state has witnessed since he assumed office. This, he said, has no doubt continued to foster economic development and stimulate prosperity in the state.

“I am glad to note that your administration has continued to play active role in promoting ideas towards improving the built and construction sector in Nigeria. Your continuous review and reenactment of extant laws on urban and regional planning and development is an attestation to this fact,” he added.

“But we believe there is still more that can be done and I am optimistic that suggestions and recommendations from the Concrete Ideas series would be found useful by your government in further enriching policies and regulatory capacity, as well as effectiveness and efficiency in the sector,” he stressed.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Deputy Governor, DrKadri Obafemi Hamzat, commended the incredible job Lafarge Africa is doing within the Nigerian construction sector. “We are building a Greater and Stronger Lagos, and the strong buildings that are built with Lafarge Cement are contributing to the beauty and aesthetics, of our State and our collective desire to keep up a picture of a Greater Lagos”

“I am particularly pleased with this conference theme; Building Up Safely: Government-Industry Collaborations because it is very apposite and it hits very close to home for us in Lagos where we are working assiduously and determined to sustainably address the issue of avoiding building collapse, safeguard the lives of our people, and prevent economic and financial loss.”

The Lagos State Governor, MrBabajideSanwo-Olu, renowned experts in public policy and leading industry players in the built and construction industry in Nigeria also affirmed that ‘building up’ is the best solution to tackling the problem of scarcity and high cost of accommodation in urban centres in Nigeria.

While decrying the acute scarcity and high cost of buildable land in major urban areas in the country, the experts highlighted the challenges affecting the optimal use of tall buildings and also shared insights on how this could be the solution to the problem of scarcity and high cost of accommodation in urban centres in Nigeria.

The experts concluded that to fully harness the many advantages that high-rise buildings offer, the government and all the stakeholders in the built environment must take bolder steps to combat the many problems militating against mass development and the optimal use of high-rise buildings in the country.

This they believe will go a long way in providing answers to the problem of inadequate housing in the urban centres in the country, particularly in Lagos and Abuja where there is limited availability of buildable land and accommodation.