Expert laments over rising cost of building materials worsening Nigeria’s housing deficit, creating homelessness

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By Chimezie Anaso

Awka, Jan. 24, 2022 An Anambra based Estate developer, Chief Daniel Orji, has blamed the rising cost of affordable housing to the increasing cost of building materials in the country.

Orji, Managing Director of Daniel-Bob Nigeria Ltd., an estate development company, said this while fielding questions from journalists in Awka on Monday on challenges facing the housing sector.

He said that most mortgage housing schemes had not worked because of the variation in cost estimate following increase in the price of building materials.

He said that the price of cement and iron rods, which were major input in the construction process had increased more than double.

“They had to be abandoned unless the clients agreed to pay the new delivery cost,’’ he said.

According to him, it is difficult for people to build now due to increase in the price of cement and rods, which is why the cost of renting an apartment is high.

“For us in the building industry, we did our estimate at N2, 200 per bag of cement but it is between N4, 600 and N4, 800; the same thing goes for iron rod, for instance 12mm was N1, 800 when we started but now it is N4, 200.

“A trip of 30 tons granite was 180,000, now we buy it for N300, 000; a trip of sand that was N12, 000 is now N35, 000 while a piece of block that was N140 is now N300.

“For mason, we used to pay them N4, 000 per day but it is now N6, 000.

“So, it is clear that there is a problem in the housing sector; the government must come in and save the situation by coming up with measures to control and reduce the cost of building materials,” he said.

The builder, however, said that the NARD the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) housing project being handled by Daniel Bob was progressing in spite of the cost challenge.

He expressed fears that both commercial and private builders may abandon their company if the Federal Government did not intervene and check inflation in building materials.

He also said that the Federal Government should grant waiver on building materials, expand the scope of supply of cement and activate Ajaokuta Steel Mill to encourage local sourcing of iron rods.

“It is impossible for the average worker who earn between N80, 000 and N150, 000 monthly to build and own a decent house at current prices of materials.

“This is what is putting pressure on the existing accommodation and causing hike in rent prices.

“For us at Daniel Bob, we are ensuring that we deliver our promise to build a functional estate for resident doctors, which is why work is going on steady,’’ he said.

Orji called on government to subsidise building materials to achieve massive housing for the people, adding that the supply of cement should be increase for options.