Lagos – Mr Kenneth Nduka, the President of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), on Monday identified costly building materials as a factor constraining housing development in the country.
Nduka made the observation while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“There is the need for the Federal Government to encourage production of building materials by placing restrictions on importation of building materials that can be manufactured locally.
“Government can encourage local production by granting some incentives like credit facilities and tax holidays, among others, to the local manufacturers of the products to enhance their productivity,’’ he said.
According to him, refusal to adopt cheaper methods of building and lack of building materials have led to high cost of building.
The president of Nigerian institute of building (NIOB) said that the rising price of building materials was discouraging investors from investing in the construction sector and low income earners from owning houses.
Nduka urged the government to subsidise price of building materials to boost activities in the real estate sector.
He said that low income earners would gain if government could assist by reducing the cost of building materials.
“The high cost of imported materials has resulted in general increase in the price of building materials.
“If price of building materials continue to rise, a time will come when the average Nigerian will not be able to buy them.
“So, it behooves on the Federal Government to help in subsidising the price to reduce the burden of doing business in the real estate sector,” he said.
According to him, rising price of building materials is capable of truncating the country’s economic growth.
He said that the rapid population growth posed a challenge to the country’s housing development, but a plus to her real estate market if building materials were affordable.
“Our housing sub-sector development may be hampered if price of building materials continues to rise unchecked because the cost of iron rods, window and door frames and other building materials are all ascending,” he said.
Nduka said that the way forward was for government to bridge housing gap by encouraging partnership between the public and private sectors.
He said that the land could be made available, while the enabling environment should be provided for the private firms to develop the landed property.