- Experts Want Focus on Quality Housing Development
Stakeholders in the housing sector have called for more efforts in the development of quality houses rather than focusing on just increasing the number.
The call was made at the just concluded Lagos International Housing Fair, where stakeholders noted that as a nation, Nigeria could close the qualitative and quantitative gaps in housing delivery simultaneously.
The President, Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof. Lai Egunjobi, said housing had become a big issue in the country and that quality had been compromised over time.
“Housing is important not just as shelter, but because it contributes to the Gross Domestic Product of a country as an investment,” he said.
The President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Dr. Joshua Patunola-Ajayi, said the current economic situation in the country was an opportunity to focus on housing, not just as the basic and most vital human need, but as an investment and a contributor to national development.
“There is a need for every community and the government to see that everyone is housed or occupy a place where they can perform their social functions effectively. We have not been focusing on quality housing as an important aspect of our national project,” Patunola-Ajayi stated.
The Chairman, Lagos International Housing Fair Committee, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, said the theme of the exhibition, ‘Quality management in housing delivery,’ was to allow stakeholders beam the searchlight on the need to build safe, functional, durable and top quality houses.
He explained, “The role of housing in economic growth and social development of nations makes it a very important industry. For example, Nigeria as a country should not be concerned with increasing the number of housing units in various states or settlements, efforts should be geared towards ensuring that what is built by stakeholders meets all the requirements of quality homes.
“There are no two opposing definitions for quality; quality is quality. A quality home will serve the intended purpose, protect the owners, guarantee their safety and give them comfort.”
Ogunleye stated that to achieve the development of quality housing, there was a need for cooperation among key players in the sector.
He added, “In this regard are producers of building materials, whose efforts are needed to continue to stimulate the input and output process of construction. There are also real estate developers who are expected to be delivering large numbers of housing units.
“Another group of key players are professionals and researchers in the sector, who can be described as development catalysts. In the same vein is the government, saddled with initiating policies for effective delivery of housing.”
The Director-General, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, Prof. Danladi Matawal, said that the use of alternative and locally sourced building materials, which could help developers save up to 30 per cent in construction costs, should be explored.
Matawal said, “For housing, which is considered a basic human need, construction materials alone constitute over 70 per cent of the cost of housing delivery, especially where low income households are concerned.
“It is, therefore, expected that any cost reduction strategies targeted at construction materials will considerably bring down the cost of project delivery thereby creating opportunities for the provision of more facilities. It is in the light of this that there has been a call to look inwards in the sourcing of materials used in the country, especially those for construction.”