Professionals within the housing and construction sector have urged the government to prioritize the manufacturing of local building materials as a key measure to lower the exorbitant costs of properties nationwide.

This call comes as they commend the initiative of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, to initiate the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy to homeowners.

These experts made the demand seventh edition of the Real Estate Construction Expo themed, “Stimulating National Economic Growth Through Real Estate Investment, Infrastructure and Technology” on Tuesday in Abuja.

Speaking in his address, the RECON Chairman, Johnson Anene, stated that the new method will help sustain and promote investments in the capital city.

He said, “We are also using this edition to promote production of building materials locally. We have observed the frustration developers and practitioners have faced over the years.

“In government efforts to force down the pricing of housing. We realise that it is a futile effort for him to try to force prices down when you are not contributing to the cost of production. Prices are brought down by forces of the market and once you are able to lower cost of building, prices of houses will come down.

“Support the production and application of local building materials and this will help sustain and promoting investment within the federal capital territory.”

Anene further added that with the commencement of issuance of CofO by the FCT administration, home owners can convert buildings or land for equity.

“We are happy with the policy that the minister for FCT to support the real estate developers association by the commencement of the issuance of certificate of occupancy to offtakers of housing units.

“What these does for the average offtaker is that you can easily convert your building or land to equity so we must continue to commend this administration for this singular initiative that would strengthen your credit base as a business man and real estate developer,” he stated.

On his part, the Chairman, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abubakar Mujtaba, reassured that the chamber is committed to support all businesses, promote ease of doing business and advocate for better government policies that would support business within the FCT.

The Chairman represented by Deputy President Emeka Obegolu noted that, “The essence of this programme is to help promote investment in the real estate and construction sector. And the major milestone we want to achieve is by boost housing production and supply to the Nigerian populace.

“The deficit of housing can’t be bridged by the government so we need to put in our input as the organised private sector.

“Housing is a basic need for man and can’t be whisked away. Every Nigerian needs adequate and affordable housing and efforts must be made to ensure that land is allocated to the real developers and not soeculators who will sell and become millionaires overnight.”

He also implored key stakeholder in the housing industry must work out the modalities of locally produced materials at subsidised rate to ensure Nigerians have roofs over their heads.

Source: The Daily Times