By Kingsley Adegboye
No genuine national transformation would be achieved without the well articulated inputs of builders. This claim was made by participants at the just concluded 43rd annual general meeting, AGM of the Nigerian Institute of Building, NIOB, in Abuja.
The builders who brainstormed on the theme “Transformation of the Building Industry- Possibilities and Realities”, the builders pledged their support to the Federal Government’s transformation agenda. In a 12-point communique issued at the end of the three-day conference, the builders enjoined the federal government and private sector clients to adequately fund housing projects in their respective domains.
They renewed the clamour for the establishment of a Building Industry Development Board, saying it is long overdue. When established, the Industry Development Board will coordinate and promote the development of industry standards, productivity measures and relationship between stakeholders in the industry.
The builders who decried the high turnover, particularly of indigenous firms, called on the federal government to review the system of registration of contractors so as to protect small and medium sized firms and promote national development.
They decried the increasing cost of building projects in Nigeria, occasioned by widespread unethical practices in various stages of project delivery and called for the reform of the public procurement system to address the issue of corruption.
Commending the efforts being made by the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute, NBRRI to develop indigenous building materials, the participants urged the three tiers of government to champion the revival of the culture of patronizing indigenous building materials and components in building projects.
The NIOB reiterated the importance of using building production management documents by its members.
In order to stem the tide of building collapse in the country, the builders stressed the need for all public and private sector clients to ensure that contractors handling building projects, engage the services of resident builders to handle the management of sites as well as supervision of craftsman and artisans as stipulated in the National Building Code.
While commending the federal government and some states for embracing the Public-Private-Partnership, PPP approach in housing delivery, they recommended the setting up of PPP units in states and local governments.
The Institute called for a reform of the National Emergency Management Agency to reposition it to effectively handle disasters arising from building collapse.