Alhaji Fasasi Muhammed-Jamiu, National President, Builders And Construction Skilled Artisans Association of Nigeria (BACSAAN) has called on government and investors to patronise building artisans directly to enhance affordable housing and greatly reduce its deficit.
Muhammed-Jamiu made the call on Sunday in a congratulatory message to President Muhammadu Buhari over his re-election, signed by him in Abuja.
According to him, the Buhari-led government has been shown commitment to reducing housing deficit,adding the association has also subscribed to that goal.,
He said members of the association had crucial role to play in reducing housing deficit in the country, if effectively patrinused by government and investors.
NAN reports that housing deficit in the country hovered between 17 million and 20 million housing units, increasing by about 900,000 units annually in a nation of over 180million people.
“The major hindrance to significant reduction of housing deficit is high cost of housing to majority of the populace who are low income earners.
” That cost can be reduced if governments and housing investors directly engage artisans in their projects across the country.
“If there is land, two to three bedroom flats can be completed between N4 million and N5 illion in major cities like Abuja. This will further reduce,interms of cost, if the buildings are in block of flats.
” But the market prices in such areas go for 10 million to 15 million, which naturally makes it difficult for low income earners to buy them.
“Most middle men in government and private housing projects inflate cost of labour but pay peanuts to our members who toil round the clock on the sites.
” High percentage of the cost usually go to the middlemen who makes it difficult for low income earners to get affordable homes,” he said.
The association’s president also said some property owners and middle men did not only inflate cost of labour but also compromised standard of materials and safety.
“We, the artisans know the right materials for quality work but we are helpless whenever those engaging us procure substandard or inadequate ones.
” Our efforts to report such sharp practises to regulatory bodies often put us at the receiving end.
” Such situation accounts for 99 per cent of building collapses and defects.”
Muhammed-Jamiu said the associatiin got better attention under Buhari’s administration and would fully cooperate with the government to achieve its people -oriented programmes.
He called for the provision of more logistics for the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to boost its effit in reducing in the provisio if affordable house for the masses.
This he said was important especially as the Buhari government warmed to take the nation to the next level of development, in its second term.
He commended the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and Council for the Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) for engaging the association in their bid to eradicate substandard projects in the country.