By Maduka Nweke
The immediate past President Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) Mr. Kunle Awobodu, has urged stakeholders in the built environment to explore ways of using local resources for construction in standard, safe and durable buildings in the country.
Speaking recently to PropertyMart, Awobodu explained that NIOB had a large reservoir of research resources consisting of research works on locally available building materials. He said the cost of constructing buildings will continue to increase if builders fail to leverage cheaper local raw materials.
He said that some of the areas of research implemented by NIOB include the use of pozollana, rice husk ash,and corncob ash as a partial replacement for cement. These he said, can save the builder a lot of money than he could ever imagine. He observed that beyond publicising the research efforts, there is the need to utilise those research outputs for the market. “I am not happy that all these research works will be dumped while builders keep chasing foreign building materials.
According to him, “the price of cement, among many other building materials, has been on a consistent rise in Nigeria, with no end in sight for a possible reduction. “In fact, there has been a major increase in the prices of building materials, and this has also affected the prices of housing units being produced by the government and developers.
“For example, one bag of cement which sold for N3,400 a year ago now costs between N4,600 and N4,800; the same thing goes for iron rods. For instance, a 12mm rod was N1,800, but now it is N4,200.
“A trip of 30-tonne granite was N180,000, now, it is N300,000; a trip of sand that was N12,000 is now N35,000, while a piece of block that was N140 is now N300.
“Also, one pack of vitrified floor tiles which cost N2,700 per pack as of last year now costs N3000 per pack while a pack of Spanish/Italian tiles now costs N7,000 from initial N3,200. Also, prices of iron rods – 10mm, 12mm, and 16mm, which were selling at N344,000, N330,000 and N330,000 in February 2021 have jumped to N442,200, N446,450 and N442,200.
In his contribution, Mr. David Obodoeze, an interior decorator, said that the country has a lot of materials for building but because most people did not suffer to make their money, they don’t care how they spend it. “It is high time we started checking how people make their money so that we don’t unnecessarily increase inflation in the country.