‘Developers May Undermine Standard Over Hike In Building Materials’

Bayern Munich

With the sharp rise in the price of building materials, experts have expressed concerns over the possibility of real estate developers compromising standards in the country.

Experts, who spoke at the 8th International Construction, Building Materials and Technology Expo, organised by Elan Expo, feared this may increase the rate of building collapse in the country.

On his part, the chief executive officer, Elan Exhibition West Africa, Jude Chime, noted that, given the circumstances, developers may want to consider cheaper means of providing homes and in the process may compromise standards. 

Chime advocated the use of technologies that would make the building and construction industry cheaper and adhere to standards. 

He said: “This is why there is a need for research and development. Building a sustainable future, empowering the construction industry is crucial for economic growth and the naira needs to be stabilised to mitigate further building collapse.

“I have always been advocating that the government stabilise the naira. If you are trying to convince an investor to come to Nigeria, a critical factor to be examined is the stability of the naira. If the currency is unstable, on what basis is the investor going to plan and make a forecast for business growth?

 If an investor is not able to do a forecast for at least five years, it becomes challenging to become part of the business community.”

On his part,  CEO of Ove Arup & Partners, Mr. Kunle Adebajo, called for the enactment and enforcement of stringent building codes to mandate the construction of safe and fit -for-purpose buildings.

Adebajo said, this would also promote the use of sustainable alternatives where applicable, as the industry must drive home the importance of these codes. He stated that the National Building Code is long overdue for a complete update and overhaul.

“The ideal approach would involve a comprehensive revamping exercise, enabling state and local development control authorities to drive sustainable development more effectively. However, the reality of building practices within the country often shows a disregard for these existing codes.

“Policies can also mandate the use of high-quality, locally sourced materials, which not only supports local economies but also reduces transportation costs and environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions.

“Government and the Industry’s governing bodies play a crucial role in shaping the regulatory framework, incentivising practices that can ensure the industry’s sustained relevance and capacity to withstand future challenges. This includes fostering green designs, sustainable building practices, certification programmes and prohibiting the use of non-environmentally friendly designs and substances.”

Also speaking, the head Architect Department, West African Ceramics Limited, Amaka Onyiuke said, it was important for the country to stop importing building materials produced locally, saying such practices would not support local content. 

“If we keep importing from abroad, we keep supporting foreign economy to grow at the expense of our own economy. That means we will keep using foreign currency and continue destroying our  products,” she stressed.

 

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