By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
Apparently worried over the astronomical increase in the prices of cement and other building materials, estate developers and private individuals have appealed to the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the rescue of Nigerians who want to build their own houses.
They argued that except the federal government intervene by regulating the prices of cement and other components of building materials, the prices will continue to soar to the disadvantage of the common man.
According to them, the prevailing economic situation in Nigeria which has ripple effects on every sector of the national life has resulted in the high prices of goods and services including building materials.
Managing Director of Goddy Ebere Global Limited, Sir Godson Osuji has decried the escalating prices of building materials like iron rods, binding wires, nails, corrugated zinc and paints.
He also said that the prices of cement and sand have hit the roof top, adding that the high prices have made building construction now a high-spending venture.
Said he: “our company is having challenges in buying building materials at the current prices of N3,700 and N4,000 depending on the producers of the cement”.
“Also, prices of Iron rods have increased by over 200%. In fact, a 12mm iron rod of 12ft length which sold for N2,500 last year now sale for N4,600 while a 16mm iron rod of 12ft earlier sold for N5200 now sales for N8,000 thus adding to the cost of delivering new building for clients”.
Sir Osuji whose company handles building projects for both federal and state governments also revealed that his company has halted action at his sites because of the high cost of building materials, pointing out that except the federal government call cement manufacturers to order the prices will continue go up.
A federal government contractor whose company is developing some housing estates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on behalf of reputable government agency but who pleaded anonymity said that the prices of cement and iron rods have become a source of concern everyone involved in building construction at the moment.
“I must confess that construction activities are not moving as fast as we envisaged because of the high cost of building materials. Iron rods and cement prices have shot up. This means we may not deliver the building projects we are handling for government agencies on schedule. Federal government must set in to regulate the prices of cement”, the builder said.
Meanwhile, Prompt News investigations revealed that both government and private estate developers in Abuja are groaning under the high cost of building materials as some of the construction sites visited in Abuja recorded low activities.
For example, the builder handling the Kabusa Gardens Estate extension near Karshi Express Bypass and developers handling Same Global Estate Lokogoma area of FCT have all scaled back activities at the construction sites because of the high cost of building materials.