Efforts to propagate the concept of ‘affordable housing’ could manifest early successes this year, if a new initiative being worked out by the organisers of the 11th Abuja Housing Show (AHS) is anything to go by.
Although preparation for the event is on top gear, the convener of the fair, Festus Adebayo disclosed that issues bordering on training of Nigerian artisans on latest building and construction technology will be take the central stage.
He said the show would devote time for length interaction with artisans, the Nigeria Directorate of employment, and all skill-training institutions in Nigeria through collaboration of professional bodies in the built environment industry in developing their capacity.
Adebayo observed that artisan’s training and engagement of indigenous artisans should be prioritised in the country hence, the show would address housing problems holistically.
“It is time to have our own capable and competent artisans. We are not creating employment by going to Togo and Republic of Benin to get tillers, POP designers and painters. Abuja Housing Show will be the climax of the discussion. We are seeking for the participation and collaboration of all lovers of skill development in the housing sector to tackle this issue”, he said.
According to him, the initiative is aimed at supporting government policy, boosting promotion and catering for the interest of all building technology that could help in the area of affordable housing as well as boost activities of companies that are based in Nigeria.
“If we encourage the patronage of construction technologies that are locally sourced it will help to create job and reduce unemployment rate. All indigenous construction companies should partner AHS in the promotion of made in Nigeria building technology for affordable housing”.
He pointed out that COREN, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Nigeria Institute of Building, Nigeria Institute of Surveyors and Nigeria Society of Engineers as well as Federation of Civil Contractors, the Chief Executives of Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute and Industrial Training Fund would join the international speakers to deliberate on issues in the housing sector.
The organization urged the Federal Government to replicate its agricultural initiatives in the housing and construction sector to make housing affordable for civil servants and Nigerians as a whole.
“We are worried about the issues of interest rate and seeking that government should replicate what it is doing in the area of agriculture in housing, where banks can be giving concession to people who are seeking for mortgage loan.
The laudable Federal Integrated Housing Scheme (FISH) was also facing challenges of having titled land documents for developers interested in partnering the scheme. Working for 25 to 30 years and not owing a home is worrisome; therefore we are set to contribute our quota in addressing these problems through the show”, he stated.