Ministry seeks Funds to Develop alternative building materials

Chioma Eche, Abuja

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The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mrs. Monilola Udoh has called for proper funding  for development of alternative building materials

She said it would provide adequate incentives and an enabling environment for greater private sector participation in the provision of housing in Nigeria.

Mrs. Udoh made this known at the 109th council Workshop of the Association of the Housing Corporation of Nigeria in conjunction with the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute NBRRI, in Abuja the nation’s capital

The event was themed addressing Housing challenges of low and medium income earners through alternative Building materials.

Mrs. Udoh called on the Nigerian government to provide necessary support to innovations and technologies of NBRRI which are driving local building and construction materials to determine the most effective and economic methods of their operation.

The Permanent Secretary further stressed that there is need to underscore the potentials of exploring alternative building materials with the mechanism of Research & Development (R&D) results as drivers of Nigeria’s economy.

“It is coming against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to permanent job losses, project abandonment, cost overrun, time overrun, claims and litigation arising from construction disputes, the impact of which is felt more by low and medium income earners.

“I, therefore cannot but completely agree on the importance of urgently putting together a sustainable and encompassing framework to encourage the identification of new local materials for the manufacture of required building components and to also encourage the expansion of existing industries producing building materials from local sources such as clay, bricks, timber etc.

 “In evolving an alternative building material policy to address the challenges of low and medium income earners and the subsequent provision of affordable housing delivery, adequate consideration must be given to the identification, manufacture and utilization of our local building materials. 

 “Consideration must also be given to the protection and enhancement of the rapid development of our indigenous building materials. This is another opportunity to fine-tune the ever re-occurring issue of local content in our construction industry.” She said.

The Director General of the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute, Professor Samson Duna, commend the stakeholders in the built industry for their tireless efforts in contributing its quota towards the eradication of housing deficit in Nigeria, adding that NBRRI is committed to ensuring that the outcome of the workshop will be accepted and strictly adhered to.

Professor Duna also called on the members of the Association and private developers in the housing sector to use the locally sourced and developed building materials which are abundant in the country.

“It is my utmost fulfillment that the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute will channel new and workable course for the realization of these goals”

I therefore challenge the AHCN to rise up to her motto which says, HOUSING THE NATION, EMPOWERING THE PEOPLE. I also assure you that NBRRI will always support and create conducive environment to function optimally,he added.

Representing, the Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola at the occasion, the Director Construction of the Ministry, Arc. Bashir Usman said the time has come to put together a sustainable and encompassing framework to encourage the identification of new local materials for manufacturing the required building components in Nigeria.

He said: “Several options and strategies have been tried to address housing challenges in the past and the nation is still bedeviled with rising housing deficit ranging from inadequate housing finance to service both the demand and supply end of the market, crawling mortgage market, affordability question, land administration quagmire and incessant building collapse among others to instability of housing policy implementation. 

On his part, the President of the Association of the Housing Corporation of Nigeria, AHCN, Dr. Victor Onukwugha said: “With the rising inflation, unemployment rates arising from global economic crisis and unstable forex market that drives Nigeria economy, it is important that we look inward to create sustainable solutions that will address housing challenges and rising housing deficit in our nation. It is hoped that this workshop will create a sustainable pathway of maximizing inherent opportunities in utilizing available and alternative building materials to address affordable housing challenge for the low income group in our society.” He emphasized.

 

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