Nigeria imports about 90 per cent of the materials used in the construction of buildings and roads across the country, the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute has said.

It described this as unsustainable, stressing that it had impacted adversely on the country’s economy and increased the demand for scarce foreign exchange.

Speaking on behalf of the institute at a press conference organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry ahead of this month’s Real Estate and Construction Expo 2022, the Head, Building Materials Section, NIBRRI, Okuo Leonard, said efforts must be made to reduce the high imports of construction materials.

“We import over 90 per cent of what we use for road construction and for buildings. Must we go out to get all these things we need?,” he stated.

Leonard added, “All we need is to prepare a conducive platform for indigenous industrialists and investors to come in and harness what we have. We can produce most of these things, use them here and export others.

“Look at the doors we are using, we import them, while we have timber which people export illegally. They will develop the timber there, produce those doors and bring them to Nigeria and sell to us as value added products.”

“So it is time to look at making use of what we have, locating the deposits, conduct research and develop or produce most of the things we need when it comes to building and road construction.”

He said NIBRRI was ready to partner any organisation, such as the ACCI, provided the campaign was to achieve sustainability in the construction industry.

The Chairman, Real Estate and Construction Expo 2022, Johnson Anene, said the aim of the programme was to showcase the housing, construction and environment sectors in Nigeria.

He said RECON 2022 was designed to meet the economic interest of participants and advance the economic development of Nigeria through private and public sector investments in housing and infrastructure.

RECON 2022 is organised by Shelter Aid Limited, West Africa Ceramics Ltd (Royal Ceramics) in conjunction with Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the support of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria.

Other partners include the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, and a host of government and private sector.

“The expo is open to real estate developers, investors, mortgage bankers, building materials suppliers, professionals and practitioners in real and construction industry, the diplomatic communities, trade unions, among others,” Anene stated.