ICYMI

March 4, 2024

High cost of cement: Nigerians opt for container houses

High cost of cement: Nigerians opt for container houses

As the economic downturn continues, all areas of Nigerian lives and plans are also striving to grapple with the situation, as areas like housing and rent are also being affected.

Nigerians are used to building with cement, but now have to go for other alternatives, as the price of cement is now on the high side.

Gone are the days when a quarter plot owner who earns N50,000 monthly can hurriedly place one or two blocks on his or her land.

The high cost of cement has affected rent and even homeowners, who built their homes decades ago, also increased rents.

Economy&Lifestyle discovered that the high price of cement has made most people shift to building with containers which have long been in vogue but slowly adopted due to Nigerian’s addiction to cement.

Mr. Folawe Adeniran, an auto dealer in Benin said he wanted to build a brick office on leased land but changed his mind due to the cost of cement, block and sand.

“It took me nothing less than N2 million to build a two room and toilet a few years back when I started my business.
“Now I received a quotation of N4 million to do such on a lease land as I intend to build another branch for my business.

“The engineer told me that he had to cut costs to arrive at that figure which excludes workmanship.

“He cited the cost of cement and sand which is also affecting the price of blocks.

“I had to resort to building with containers.

“This building is made with containers and is heat free as people used to think building with containers attracts lots of heat.

“I spent less than N3 million to achieve this.

“If it were a permanent land, I would still opt for container building.

“Many business owners whose businesses require building on leased lands and personal lands are now using containers to build.

“That is what the economy has turned everyone to.

“Business is not smiling because the economy is not.

“It is only a well to do man involved in fraud that will be comfortable with the way the economy is.

“Even when you build with bricks in those days it takes you a few years to recover what you spent on such a building if it is for commercial purposes.

“I pity the average Nigerian who has plans on building. What will they build.?

“God help us.”

Mr. Friday Badmus, a trader, said he just made a container apartment on his quarter plot land when his rent got due last year.

“It was a funny day when my landlord told me in November that he wants to increase my rent of a two bedroom flat to N800,000 from N600,000.

“I was so worried because the place I have land was not well occupied by people yet and was thinking about how to raise N800,000 and still foot my family bills with low sales in business.

“I had made up my mind not to borrow but manage what I have to have peace of mind.

“My wife was the person who brought the idea of building a container apartment of a room and parlor.
“She brought her savings and I added mine and with support from family and friends we had our container building.
“You won’t even know it is built with a container if I don’t spill.”

Containers are now used to build houses in Nigeria, thanks to the advanced technology and production system.
According to Blessing George, a construction engineer: “The construction costs range from N100,000 – N150,000 per square meter, depending on final specification and finishing.

“These containers are used for transportation and can be converted to comfortable apartments with standard interior finishes and designs.”

He added: “The area where cement is required is the concrete foundation to place the containers.

“These container houses are mostly used for commercial purposes and personal apartments.

“The high price of cement which is making people seek for other building alternatives is pushing many to opt for the container houses.”

Market survey revealed that the price of a bag of cement ranges between N8,000 to N11,300 depending on the State. Cement was sold as high as N5,500 in January 2024.