Abuja – Mrs Akon Eyakenyi, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, said on Thursday that efforts were ongoing to introduce new building methods that would substantially reduce cost of houses nationwide.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Eyakenyi blamed the rising cost of houses on the high cost of land and building materials.
She said that the ministry was working with stakeholders to find ways to address this challenge, adding that the solution would be found by also exploring alternative building technologies.
“The conventional building methods that we use though good and durable for our environment, we are living in a changing world; we have new technology that is being used outside the country.
“A significant development in the current effort at housing delivery is the adoption of alternative building technologies and construction methods in some of the project sites.
“This is aimed at improving the speed of construction and eventually reducing the overall cost.”
“Some of the new technologies being used include the light gauge steel construction technology, plasswall and plassmolite technology, hydraform technology and burnt sticks.”
The minister enjoined estate developers under the affordable housing scheme to embrace the concept of mixed development in housing delivery.
Eyakenyi also urged them to ensure that at least 20 per cent of the total number of housing units built in a project site was allocated to low-cost housing ranging between N1.5 million to N5 million for one to three-bedroom houses.
She said that the ministry was collaborating with domestic producers to supply of building materials to estate developers at factory prices, to further reduce cost of houses.
On efforts to tackle housing deficit, the minister identified the Ministerial Pilot Scheme, a yearly budget by the Federal Government to build cheap houses for Nigerians as one strategy.
She also mentioned the 100,000 housing units for workers, saying that distribution of over 20,000 completed units had started and that the 10,000 Presidential Housing Project had also started in Gwagwalada.
The minister urged state governments to make available unencumbered land for the purpose of mass housing for Nigerians.
According to her, 18 states had already linked up with the Federal Government to give free land for mass housing.
She expressed optimism that the cost of houses would be reduced to the bearest minimum with all the measures in place. (NAN)