Stories by Maduka Nweke
the soaring prices of building materials in the country is not funny at all for players in the built environment. This is so because prices of building materials are constantly changing and in the process altering budget permutations of builders. Aside altering budget, the low income earners who may want to develop a room self-contained apartment may no longer meet the financial requirements to do so due to rising cost.
The new tenancy law introduced recently by the Lagos State government is one bitter pill that has refused to go down the throat of most landlords in the Lagos metropolis. The new tenancy law stipulates that landlords in the state are not permitted to collect rents above one year from any tenant. Areas like Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki and Ikeja are, however, exempted from this new tenancy law.
In order to check the level of compliance to this new tenancy law, some estate agents were contacted for comments. Mr. Yacoob Abiodun, an estate agent in Agege, Lagos, in his reaction, stated that landlords in the state have jacked up their rents. He said before now, the cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment was N100,000 per year but now the cost has risen to about N150,000, excluding agency and other fees.
The increasing cost of renting apartments in Lagos has remained a great concern to most tenants. If you ask most tenants what their desire is concerning housing in Lagos, they will tell you they would have loved to be in their own houses so they can be free from Lagos shylock landlords. Well, if you are still a tenant in Lagos and want to stop all the harassment from your landlord, then you better start planning how to build your own house.
But those who have the financial muscle believe that building a house in Lagos is not as difficult as most people perceive it to be. According to them, all you need to build your own house include but not limited to buying a land, drawing a building plan, getting a builder to give you total cost of labour and the building materials required to complete the building. Many a time, the builder will present a long list of inflated prices of building materials that will further discourage the prospective landlord from embanking on the building project.
Some professionals in the built environment have implied that between 50 to 60 per cent of the total construction input goes into building materials. As a result, there is an urgent need to address the rising cost of these products, which is said to have slowed down the growth of the mortgage system.
As government makes efforts at housing delivery for its citizenry, not much efforts have been geared towards exploring chances of local manufacturing of building materials, despite its provision and emphasis in chapter six of the February 1991 National Housing Policy.
Part of the section of this chapter states that government will consciously promote the establishment of cottage and small scale industries producing building materials and components from local sources such as clay, brick, concrete products, timber, among others; collaborate with other developed countries in the development of technical expertise for building materials manufacturers; encourage regional spread of building material industries in order to stabilise cost and widen distribution.
According to a report, almost two and a half decades since the formulation of that policy, and despite the availability of raw materials in abundant quantity for local manufacturers of these goods, government and stakeholders in the built environment still import materials for construction projects with little or no impact in housing delivery.
Nigerians stand to gain a lot from strict compliance to the components of the 1991 National Building Policy, especially as it concerns local sourcing of materials for various constructions.Beyond reducing cost of construction and being a way of conserving foreign exchange, it will serve also as avenue for job creation, lead to technological advancement and will force down the cost of imported ones, and consequently lead to a drop in cost of renting apartments.
Prices of some building materials
A. Dangote Cement per 50kg bag (42.5 grade) N1,850; supply to site – N1,750.
B. Sand crete block 9 x 9 x 18 – N250,000.
C. Sand crete block 6 x 9 x 18 – N200,000.
D. Sand crete block (stonedust) 9 x 9 x 18 – N250,000.
E. Sand crete block (stonedust) 6 x 9 x 18 – N200,000.
A bag of cement stable at N1,600 (some are refill).
1 x 12 plank white wood – before, N700; now, N900.
1 x 12 plank hard wood – before, N1,100; now, N1,600.
2 x 6 plank white wood – before, N400; now, N700.
2 x 6 plank hard wood – before, N750; now, N1,100.
2 x 4 plank hard wood – before, N500; now, N700.
2 x 4 plank white wood – before, N250; now, N450.
Hard wood wall plate 3 x 4 – before, N800; now, N1,200.
Ordinary local sheet formerly cost N7000 per bundle but now sells for N15,000.
A bag of nails sold for N2,500 but now goes for N7,400.
Coloured emulsion (20 litres) standard quality – N7,500, low quality – N4,500.
White emulsion high quality (20 litres) – N4,500.
Coloured emulsion high quality (4 litres) – N3,500.
White emulsion quality (4 litres) – N1,300.
Coloured glass oil, low quality (4 litres) – N3,500.
White emulsion quality, one drum (one drum = 20 litres) sells for between N5,000 and N7,5000.
White texcote high quality (drum) = N7,500.
Calabash texcote quality goes for between N7,500 and N8,500.
FG pays N102bn to commence work on abandoned road projects
…As contractors return to site in 6 points
In order to commence work on some road projects across the country, the Federal Government said it has paid a total of N102 billion out of the N300 billion already released since the 2016 budget was signed into law.
Speaking on the projects, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, listed some of the road projects where the contractors had returned to site to include the Kano-Katsina Road, Kano-Maiduguri Road, Ilorin-Jebba Road, Loko-Oweto Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Port Harcourt-Enugu Road, among others.
Fashola said the Federal Government has paid about N700 billion out of the N2.1 trillion liabilities for the construction of 206 road projects across the country. In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello, last week, Fashola stated that the N102 billion his Ministry got is described as a lion’s share of the N300 billion.
“But it is a lion’s share against our realities and the realities are that we inherited 206 roads under construction and the liabilities for those roads were in the region of N2.1 trillion.”
The Minister also stated that as of July this year, N70 billion had been paid out to contractors, project managers and consultants for roads and bridges, adding that with the payment, the various contractors have since returned to site.
In the power sector, Fashola said with the money available, the Ministry was working to complete the 215 megawatts Kaduna power plant, the transmission line for the Gurara 40MW plant and the Kashimbilla plant, adding that it was also remobilising contractors back to the various transmission sites.
Recommending fiscal spending as a way out of the current recession, the Minister described the 2016 budget size as ambitious, adding that an increased budgetary size would enable the administration to fund the various capital projects that would impact on the livelihood of the populace.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has ordered the demolition of all shanties in the state, which serve as hideouts for criminals and miscreants as part of the measures to rid the state of criminality.
The Lagos Environmental Task Force and Health Officers were spotted on the streets of the metropolitan as they kicked off the demolition of shanties in major roads and streets in various parts of the state.
The directive tagged, “Operation No Shanties in Lagos” is part of measures aimed at reducing criminality in the state. The operation, according to the state government, will also include roadside food sellers who do not comply with both the environmental and public health laws.
Demolition of illegal structures: Accommodation problems worsen in Lagos
following last week’s demolition of shanties in Lagos by the state government, stakeholders are already bemoaning the hardship this is bound to visit on the citizens.
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, had in a way that suggested ridding the state capital of hoodlums ordered the demolition of all shanties in the state, which serve as hideouts for criminals and miscreants.
The Lagos Environmental Task Force and Health Officers were spotted in the streets of the metropolitan as they kicked off the demolition of shanties in major roads and streets in various parts of the state.
The directive tagged, “Operation No Shanties in Lagos” is part of the measures aimed at reducing criminality in the state. The operation will also include roadside food sellers who do not comply with both the environmental and public health laws.
However, members of the public are already feeling disenchanted by the order saying the state government has in recent times done a lot of demolitions that have not been cultivated or built. According to Mr. David Obodoeze, an interior decorator, the state government demolished the Ladipo Market and has not rebuilt it, adding that the Oshodi Electronics Market was demolished and it is yet to be built. He therefore asked why only demolition without rebuilding. He appealed to the state government to first rebuild the ones already demolished before demolishing more as that will help to cushion the effect of economic hardship in the country.
Also discussing the demolition, Chief Obiora Ekwemozor, a textile dealer, said that government should be aiding in ameliorating the economic conditions of the populace and not worsening it. He said that government should help in improving the living condition of the citizens, adding that any government policy that does not ease the hardship of the people will make the public to lose confidence in such government. He therefore advised that whatever policy that will aggravate the economic plunge of the citizens should be discouraged.
“Any government policy that is not popular with the citizens should not fly because if it does, it will not augur well for the people. In this regard, it should be discouraged in all its entirety,” he said.