BCPG tasks prospective public office holders on housing
CONSIDERED to be one of the greatest needs of man – housing, a group of professionals under the aegis of Building Collapse Prevention Guilds (BCPG) has urged prospective public office holders throughout the federation to pay more attention to housing issues.
The group last week at a public function in Lagos lamented that, it was unfortunate that most of those seeking elective posts have not spoken on how to solve the nation’s housing problem.
BCPG said the call became necessary now when political transition process through electioneering, is in top gear, adding that housing needs of Nigerians is not salient in the manifestoes of the contestants.
In view of the seeming absence of concern by the aspiring political office holders in their campaign and manifestoes, a group, noted that in Nigeria, the construction sector is in crisis due to some factors, which it said that politicians have failed to pay serious attention to.
According to the group that consisted of professionals in the building industry and the artisans, buildings are the determinants of development gradation, helping to differentiate villages from towns and cities.
“At this critical time of the nation’s political transition, should major stakeholders in the construction industry fold their arms and watch as events unfold with little or no consideration for their inputs in manifestoes that could become the bedrock of government policies?”, asked Kunle Awobodu, the President of the group.
Awobodu said that fear of building collapse in relation to attitude of governments at all levels necessitated the press conference.
He said issues that the group would implore the incoming public office holders to address are as follows: removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks in the building plan approval process and encumbrances and difficulties associated with certificate of occupancy process.
“The need for Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban development to outsource relevant professionals to help vet building plans and monitor construction in order to cope with the rapid and vast development of our urban centres would be more appropriate”, he said.
Besides, there is need for effective monitoring of government’s lands to prevent squatters from building on such them, saying this building without building plan approval usually resulted into building collapse.
Other areas to look into are prevalence of sub-standard building materials in the market, needs to eradicate quackery and to curb incessant construction disturbance by omo onile (Land agents)
“Construction has always been an assemblage of diverse knowledge and experience. To put right the accumulated errors in the Nigerian construction industry requires the cooperation of government, the professionals, craftsmen, artisans, manufacturers and suppliers in the industry. That is why BCPG is constituted by Surveyors, Town planners, Architects, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Builders and Estate Surveyors & Valuers. The role of artisans and manufacturers in BCPG is very significant.
“In other clime, construction sector is the barometer for gauging the nation’s economy. Here in Nigeria, real estate sector contributed 8.01 percent ($40.9 billion) to the economy of the total rebased GDP estimate of $510 billion. This is very considerable despite the nation’s shortcomings in the construction sector. And we could achieve more if the aspirants do the required homework”, said Awobodu.