Mr Daniel Orji, Chairman of Daniel-Bob Construction Limited, has called on the Federal Government to check the rise in the cost of building materials.
Orji, who is also a developer handling the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) Housing Estate Scheme across the country, said this in Awka on Wednesday.
He said that the cost of building materials must be affordable to average Nigerians to enable them to have their homes within the shortest time possible.
Orji said that the recent increase in the cost of materials had made the cost of project execution to go up.
He called on the Federal Government to evolve policies that would keep building materials down including subsidy to developers, special foreign exchange rate for imported building materials and revamping of Ajaokuta Steel company.
“The problem with housing now is that the cost of building materials has skyrocketed which has resulted to serious increase in the cost of houses.
“The price of cement has gone up from N2,400 in 2020 to N3,500 and N4,000 now; 12mm rod of about N1,400 is about N2, 500 now same thing for granite; so, you see it will be difficult for people to build.
“Inflation is affecting progress in the housing sector operations in the sense that contract values become unrealistic at the point of delivery of the houses.
“It also makes it difficult for us to repay bank loans.
According to him, land is another issue as the cost of land with Certificate of Occupancy is very high.
He appealed to governors to help cooperatives with cheap, secured lands.
“The Federal Government should subsidise building materials and the Central Bank of Nigeria should approve preferential foreign exchange rate for imported construction-related materials.
“Revamping the Abeokuta Steel Mill will make rods and metals cheap unlike the present situation where some firms are using scraps to produce,” he said.
Orji blamed the monopoly of the market for the arbitrary increase and urged the Federal Government to encourage more players to come in so that competition would push down prices.
He said that in spite of the challenges, Daniel-Bob construction, as a foremost player in the industry, was doing its best to enable Nigerians to include civil servants to own affordable houses.
The Developer also urged workers to form cooperatives and take advantage of the National Housing Fund and Mortgage Financing by partnering Construction firms with capacity and track records.
“We have done for Police, we have done it for Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and now we are undertaking the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) across the country.
“Our goal is to help Nigerians have descent accommodation,’’ he said.(NAN)