Nigerian built environment professionals and architects called for affordable housing policies to address the housing deficit in the country.
The parties expressed their concerns at the 57th Annual General Assembly and Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), namely BGM 2017, themed ‘Affordable Housing: Rhetoric, Tectonic and Architecture.” The event took place earlier in December in Abuja.
The president-elect of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Festus Adibe Njoku, addressed the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to further housing policies that would assist with Nigeria’s housing problem, currently at a deficit of 17 million housing units.
“There is a big difference between affordable housing and housing that is affordable. Affordable is the government-subsidised kind. The latter, on the other hand, describes the ways architects have to reduce the cost of owning a house,” he declared, quoted by local press Vanguard.
According to Njoku, advanced construction technology should be available to architects and allied professionals, while the government should provide the primary infrastructure at a predetermined cost and create an environment that enables the private sector to assist.
He said affordable housing would also have a positive influence on the health and welfare of the citizens.
Another important topic was the construction of quality housing and the need for reformation in the building industry, where architects were encouraged to adopt better materials technology, improve their skills, and fight corruption.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai, the immediate past president of NIA, Tonye Braide also attended the conference to express their views.
“Affordable low-cost housing might prove to be a lasting solution that the housing problem needs,” said Braide.
Affordable housing is often difficult to achieve because the cost of building with materials used in Nigeria has steadily risen over the years, and is prohibitive to low-income earners.
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