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Firm urges adoption of home grown designs

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Piqued by the need to make homes affordable for Nigerians, the Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Homes, Dr. Kunle Adeyemi has called for the adoption of homegrown technology in the housing sector.

The developer, who spoke to newsmen on the increasing cost of building materials such as, cement, iron rods and other products, expressed worries that cement price has increased to over 70 per cent.

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He urged developers to adopt new designs and construction methods for mass housing that will eliminate waste.

“Our construction methodology encourages waste of building materials. Developers need to be more creative and innovative,” he said.

Aderemi also urged the government to create an enabling environment for building materials to be sourced locally by relaxing bureaucracies in the mining industry, which makes it difficult to extract materials.

According to him, the government needs to regulate the building and construction sector as the price of essential materials are rising.

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For instance, the price of cement, he said, has increased over 70 per cent in the last quarter and moved from N3, 450 to N3, 800 in less than 24 hours.

He stressed that if this is not done, the hope of an average Nigerian owning a home will continue to be a mirage, even though the shelter is considered to be one of the basic needs of life after food and clothing.

Adeyemi, who doubles as the General Secretary of South West Zone of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), said the call became necessary because cement is one of the essential non-negotiable materials required for building construction.

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“The market has been monopolised and there are few dictators or players. The government has to be deliberate about breaking the monopoly and not allowing an individual or a few individuals to dictate the price. We succeeded at a point in the textile industry, particularly during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, where the ban was placed on importation to encourage local production.

“So, sourcing materials locally will go a long way to regulate the price. I foresee doom for the sector as some developers may be forced to compromise standards in a bid to beat inflation,” he added.

On the issue of mass housing, he lamented that the Federal Housing Authority’s failure to provide housing for Nigerians, adding that building 1,000 on yearly basis will take a millennium to bridge the 20 million gap.

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