Kingsley U N Chikwendu —
The Chairman of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), DrSamson Opaluwah, has said that the built industry have high expectations on how the administration of Nigeria’s president-elect, Ahmed Bola Tinubu will handle the uncertainties surrounding the housing industry in the country, added with building control, quality of materials in the market and upgrading of artisanal skills.
In an interview with Daily Trust, Opaluwah urged Tinubu to boost the construction sector as a means of solving the unemployment problem in Nigeria.
He also added that the incoming president needs to address unemployment quickly and drastically, and the easiest way to do it is to boost construction, “because it has multiplier effects on the economy”, he said.
“Does it not only employ the artisan cadre, it employs other businesses that are contingent to the construction industry.
“It generates the building products and construction projects market, and it also ensures that the tertiary products of this sector are engaged as they come out in the industry.
“A lot has been said about this by professionals in this industry. The issues are in various stages: quality and quantity wise. What I expect it to do is to address urban slums, because it has the effect of raising the standard of living and will transform into economic upliftment of those areas.
“A lot has been said about what Babatunde Fashola as governor did in Oshodi and other areas of Lagos State in clearing slums and improving the level of environmental sanitation.
“We believe if that is replicated in all the major slums of our city dwellings, there will be a lot of improvement not only in housing standard and housing delivery, but also in the quality of life and healthcare demands of our people in the slums”.
The Chairman also said that the youth of the country require to be adequately catered for in the area of housing.
“When we are talking about housing in our economy today, most times, people are looking for houses for families, but our population is 60 per cent youths, yet we don’t seem to focus housing on them, he stated.
“Some people argue that it is a trans-generational thing; they will grow. But as they grow into adults, others come into that same age bracket. That means that the bug is there and it needs to be addressed.
Not only employment wise, housing is critical and the government should now look into unbundling all the restrictions to housing development in Nigeria. The Land Use Act needs to be repealed and access to land should not be concentrated in one man’s hands in a whole state.
“It is a big drawback which has to be addressed. And land capital is not useful to many owners of landed property in Nigeria, which is pauperizing our nation. I believe that the new administration will unbundle the innate capital that Nigeria has always kept bonded.