Industry Stakeholders Advocate Sustainable Regulations to Bridge Urban Housing Gaps


Wednesday, July 14, 2021 / 9:23 PM / Lafarge / Header Image Credit: YouTube; Lafarge Africa PLC

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The Honourable Minister of Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, recently led stakeholders to call on professionals in both the building and financial sectors to align with government initiatives, by investing in the sustainable building of homes through methods that are energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and cost-effective in addressing the current urban housing gap.

Fashola made the call during the third edition of Lafarge Africa's Concrete Ideas forum, a quarterly platform for strategic discussions of critical and topical issues in the areas of building and road construction. The event had as its theme: New Solutions for Nigeria's Urban Housing. The Minister specifically called on industry practitioners to acquaint themselves with modern housing needs and start redesigning homes through concerted urban renewal programs.

He noted that "the organized private sector must leverage their entrepreneurial skills to deliver footprints in the housing sector as the federal government is initiating fiscal and monetary policies to create a level playing field for practitioners". He urged the respective state houses of assembly as well as their attorney generals to create an enabling environment for land acquisition and transfers to assist the ongoing federal urban renewal program.

Fashola noted further that the Ministry of Works and Housing has recommended that the data of the next census exercise must include data about homeownership and rentals, to counter the assumed figures that are in circulation and hampering the developments already rolling out from the ministry.

The Chairman of Lafarge Africa Plc, Prince Adebode Adefioye, in his opening remark said Lafarge Africa is adapting Holcim's perspective to Green Building Solutions in Nigeria and has consistently introduced unique products and building solutions that are purpose-built. Adefioye noted that Lafarge Africa is adapting innovative products that are affordable and low-carbon emitting to suit the tropicalized Nigerian environment.

The Country Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Khaled El-Dokani, on his part said the concrete ideas forum has steadily become a platform that brings key stakeholders across sectors to offer solutions to Nigeria's urban housing initiatives and policies. He noted that Lafarge Africa has several innovative projects as part of its commitment to build for people and the planet. He remarked that 'As you are all aware, we are a member of the Holcim Group, the world leader in innovative building solutions. As a member of this group, we are committed to reinventing how the world builds by shaping a world that is greener, smarter, and that works for all."

Stakeholders at the session included the Chief Executive Officer of Economic Associates (EA), Dr. Ayo Teriba; the Founder, Blue Tower-House (BTH), Ms. Amaka Nwaokolo; National President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Bldr. Kunle Awobodu; President, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Arc. Sonny T. Echono , FNIA, PNIA.

Other stakeholders included the Head of Mortar, Lafarge Africa Plc, Ms. Olajumoke Adegunle, and Head, Technical Products and Innovation, Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Femi Yusuff.

The Concrete Ideas platform embodies Lafarge Africa Plc's thought leadership interventions and has become a catalyst for the attainment of sustainable change and continuous improvement within the sector. After the inaugural session with the theme: "Public-Private Partnership Approaches to Rapidly Upscaling Nigeria's Economy", the Federal Ministry of Works & Housing implemented the key recommendation of the Highways Development Management Initiative (HDMI) to attract the participation of the private sector in the development of the Infrastructure Segment.

Also, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering (COREN) mandated professional bodies in the Built environment to develop a manual that will complement the Nigerian Industrial Standard on Cement, NIS444:1 (2003) which was part of recommendations at the second session with the theme - ' Addressing the Root Cause of Building Collapse in Nigeria."

The Concrete Ideas series continues to attract key players within the public and private sector and their recommendations are put together as a blueprint to accelerate the growth of the sector.

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