Given the imminent surge in population, the Federal Government has been advised to prioritise and invest more in housing schemes to provide more affordable houses to Nigerians.

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Nigeria’s population has reached 216 million in 2022, accounting for 2.7 per cent of the global population.

Recall that the United Nations Population Fund said that Nigeria’s population was increasing by 3.2 per cent annually and might hit 400 million by 2050.

Speaking in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, the immediate past President of the Nigeria Institute of Building, Kunle Awobodu, expressed the need for the government to be proactive in providing low-cost houses to avert a housing crisis in the country.

He also said an improvement in research to source building materials locally and enactment of policies to reduce the cost of cement and other materials would go a long way towards enhancing a low-cost housing scheme.

He said, “Houses are not affordable because purchasing power is low and this creates some deep conflict because with the rising price of building materials, labour and the inconsistency in the pricing due to inflation, it also becomes very difficult for the government to implement a housing scheme.

“Unfortunately, the population is rising astronomically, and providing adequate accommodation to take the rising number of occupants has become a difficult role to hold.

“We have to go back to a drawing table and strategise, we have been talking for a long time. Until we can source building materials internally without resulting in importation, then we would be in a position to provide affordable housing at a low-cost rate.

“We need to do a lot of research, but the question is this; if we intensify our effort in the research sector and we come out with building materials that can be sourced and manufactured locally, we are not going to have the same experience we are currently having with cement.