By Jumai Abu
Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) has urged the federal government to harness and develop local materials to achieve affordable housing delivery in the country.
The president/chairman in council of REDAN, Alh. Aliyu Wamakko who made the call at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, noted that improving local content in building construction would foster development and sustainability in the housing sector.
According to him, “REDAN is desirous of improving the local content factor in building construction to generate and improve our local technology for economic development and sustainability.
“On this, the use of alternative technology powered by our indigenous Hydigenous Engineering Services and the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) amongst others should be encouraged to thrive by patronizing them.”
He charged federal government institutions to obey the Presidential Executive Order 003 in public procurement processes as a means of improving local content in the building industry.
He lamented that lack of enforcement of the order had further encouraged patronage of imported building materials totally neglecting the need to build local content for the sector.
According to him, “When it comes to building materials in Nigeria, the main challenge is not about laws or policies, but rather implementation or enforcement.
“With this, I encourage the federal government and other stakeholders in the housing sector to do what is necessary to ensure that from now, our federal public institutions give priority and preference to our indigenous technology when it comes to the building industry.
“Same goes for the private sector. This is very possible with the Executive Order we have in place, Executive Order 003 which was signed in 2017 and Presidential Order of 2018.
“I believe these two orders will go a long way in supporting you to ensure the enforcement of our local content,” he noted.
Wamakko stated that “Most of our local content manufacturers are not supported in any way. We agitated for local content or indigenous content but when it comes to patronage, we always give priority or preference to what has been imported into our country.
“We need to change that, from just making statements to implementing what will have in place.
“I assure you that you have my support and I will ensure that all the agencies under me comply with the policy,” he said.
He appealed to other stakeholders to join the association in encouraging local content development programme to improve home grown technology to generate employment and diversify the nation’s economy.
The president appealed to the federal government through the instrumentality of the Family Homes Funds to simplify the requirements and participation for willing Nigerians.
Wamakko added, “Concentration on demand induced supply based on market forces has not yielded the desired dividends because of the value chain and transaction dynamics that will produce such effective linkage is none existent.
“It is our responsibility to work with stakeholders in the housing sector to ensure that we move away from the learning curve to a higher pedestal of project feasibility, execution and closure.”
He said the association will embark on an Anchor-Development-Scheme so that those who have land, off-takers, finance and other resources will synergise to maximise the benefits of being part of the vanguard for affordable housing development in Nigeria.
The president urged developers to key into the transformed REDAN in reinvigorating the engine for the common goal of members.
He called for the recapitalisation and streamlining of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
The REDAN president urged the federal government to increase FMBN capital base to N8 billion in line with other agencies as its inadequacy makes the provision of more homes a herculean task for real estate developers.
He stressed on the importance of the financial institution in the real estate sector, adding that the cost of building materials has been escalating, and the purchasing power of developers diminishing, hence the urgent need for total recapitalisation of the bank.
He remarked that real estate development contributes about 6.4 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and that it is very important to consider recapitalisation and streamlining the FMBN for the development of the housing industry.