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April 14, 2024
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Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB) members celebrate 2024 Builders Day in Lagos

Builders proffer solutions to increasing cost of building materials

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By Rukayat Adeyemi
The Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB) has charged government at all levels to implement policies that will encourage local production of building material for sustainable housing delivery.

Mr Adeoye Thomas, NIOB Chairman, Lagos Chapter, said this at a news conference as part of activities in commemoration of the 2024 Builders Day on Wednesday in Lagos.

The theme of the 2024 Builders Day celebration is : “The Role of Builders In Sustainable Housing Delivery”.

Adeoye said government policies such as tax breaks and subsidies for manufacturers could reduce reliance on importation and spur local production of building materials.

He stated that the current impacts of foreign exchange (forex) on construction in the country were multifaceted and presented challenges and potential opportunities.

The NIOB chairman expressed worry that a significant portion of construction materials in Nigeria were imported, noting that,” fluctuations in the exchange rate can drastically affect their prices.

“This makes project budgeting and cost control more difficult. An example can be seen in the recent cost of cement.

“Due to forex scarcity, construction companies struggle to access the foreign currency needed to import essential materials and this can lead to project delays.

“Construction companies face pressure to maintain profit margins amidst rising material costs, potentially leading to compromises in quality or project delays,” he said.

According to him, the high cost of imported materials can lead to the development and expansion of local production of building materials, fostering economic diversification and job creation, if well managed.

Adeoye advised the government to promote local content in the built environment by encouraging the use of locally sourced materials in construction projects.

He said this could be done through public procurement policies and awareness campaigns that could further strengthen the domestic construction industry.

“We must also embrace sustainable practice by promoting and adopting sustainable construction methods that utilise local resources efficiently and as such contribute to cost reduction and environmental benefits.

“The construction sector should be diversified by exploring opportunities for public-private partnerships and attract foreign direct investment that inject capital and expertise into the sector and foster innovation and long-term growth,” he added.

Adeoye emphasised that by addressing these challenges and capitalising on the opportunities presented by forex fluctuations, the  industry could become more resilient, sustainable, and less susceptible to external market volatility.

The NIOB chairman noted that in driving the transition toward sustainable housing delivery, builders are instrumental by integrating environmentally friendly practices, materials and technologies into the construction process.

He said this would ultimately contribute to a more sustainable built environment for present and future generations.

According to him, the builders day is a solemn reminder, a call to action and a beacon of hope.

“Builders play a crucial role in the delivery of sustainable housing by implementing environmentally friendly construction practices, utilising eco-friendly materials, and adhering to energy-efficient building standards.

“We also bear a significant responsibility in ensuring the safety and sustainability of our built environment.

“This responsibility extends beyond brick and mortar, encompassing ethical practices, adherence to standards, and a commitment to quality.

“Let us honour the victims of building collapse not with mere words, but with unwavering dedication to building a future where safety, quality, and sustainability are the cornerstones of our profession,” he said.

According to him, engaging quacks or misusing qualified professionals is not collaboration.

Adeoye charged stakeholders in the built environment to thrive on due process, professionalism, discipline, and a shared commitment to excellence.

He also urged policymakers, developers, homeowners and the public to partner with NIOB to build a nation where every structure stands as a testament to collective commitment to excellence and lasting legacy for generations to come.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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