Operators in the building industry have argued that the rising cost of building materials has contributed to collapses experienced in the country.
A realtor, Akintayo Yusuf, frowned at the incessant rise in the prices of building materials in Nigeria, describing it as pathetic.
He said, “The cost of building materials of recent years has significantly affected the real estate industry, especially the construction part. Apart from sending some developers out of the market and leaving the remaining to spend more than their projected expenses on buildings, thereby, increasing the cost of buildings. This has made buyers buy at a higher rate, which has led to the usage of low-quality materials and birthing collapse.
In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer of Riel Homes, Dr Kolade Adepoju, attributed the increase in building collapse to the use of substandard materials, because of the challenge of affordability.
According to him, substandard materials are one of the major problems of building collapse in the country.
He said, “This would have been avoided if good agencies were put in place to test the quality of materials being used for each individual building. In the absence of these kinds of agencies, people flout the laid-out rules in the Nigerian Building Code and build based on their own discretion.
“The agencies should do more in this regard, and professionals should be engaged because this is a matter of life and death, irrespective of the cost involved. At times, cutting costs might not be from the developer but from the supervisor or engineer on site who is just trying to make money and does not put into consideration the lives that these substandard materials could affect if a cave-in occurs.”
Speaking on the recent building collapse in Abijo, Ajah area of Lagos, he asserted that the engineers/supervisors should be jailed, because it could have led to the loss of lives if it had existing occupants.
While attributing the cause of the substandard materials usage to building collapse, the Co-founder, Estek Cosmopolitan, Adetiloye Oyeyipo, asserted that the constant fluctuation of the dollar makes the building market very unpredictable and that’s why when construction managers get a project they buy immediately in bulk.
He said, “Developers are always trying to con their way into doing a project for less than they are supposed to do it for which result in using less for more, hence birthing these collapses.”
“Developers know how much and where to get standard materials but these things will come at a cost to them meaning that they won’t make as much money usually because of the negotiated fee with the client. For instance, doing a two-storey building is a big cash out than a bungalow. Some developers would rather give you a substandard two-storey that is not sustainable than a bungalow.”
Going forward, Oyeyipo advised that developers needed to cut their cloth according to their size.
He added, “If the client cannot afford to build a two-storey building then give him a bungalow that won’t collapse. Also, Nigeria needs a stable economy that will encourage developers to build sustainable projects.”