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Construction Safety: Builders  Seek New Procurement Standards 

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With the conclusion of its annual conference, the Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB) has sought for new procurement standards.
The conference which held in Port Harcourt focused on: Health, Safety, Enforcement and Professionalism for Sustainable Development” with experts in the built industry proffering solutions to the challenges facing the sector.
President of the NIOB, Kenneth Nduka while discussing the focus of the conference stressed that the enforcement of procurement laws will help infuse security and safety standards.
In an era where quacks have infiltrated the built sector, Nduka opined that procurement will check the problem of corruption , compromise of standards and the use of sub- standard products for construction.
“For us, safety and security should be a way of life fo every builder. We must embrace it as a routine”, Nduka said.
While speaking on the topic: Appraisal  of Health, Safety Practices of Small and Medium Construction Sites”, Dr. Muyiwa Abubakar, a lecturer in Building Department, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University disclosed that 60 percent of fatalities in construction sites come from buildings.
Abubakar stated that safety is pertinent so as to meet target time since construction is characterised  with risks and hazards.
The lecturer harped on safety management practices that would be driven by training , competence and enforcement.
On his part, Dr Chris Igwe suggested that quality must not be compromised to ensure safety.
For him, enforcement of standards leads to adoption of safety and security at construction sites.

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Housing/Property

‘Industrialisation, Key To Achieving Local Content In Housing’

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A member of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr Benson Ngbede, says industrialisation is key to achieving local content inputs in providing affordable housing for citizens.
Ngbede told newsmen recently in Abuja that building houses would be cheaper when the country is able to develop its industries and locally produce materials that were currently imported.
“Most resources required to build houses are locally available in their raw state. Establishing industries that will turn these raw materials into finished products for builders will ensure affordable houses for citizens.
“Government needs to put in place what is needed for developers to provide houses at relatively affordable prices; that entails availability of land and infrastructure.
“We also need to look inward. We need to develop our industries. We need to be more industrialised to help us develop local content. “If we can do that, one bedroom house can go for 1million naira, 2 bedroom for about 1.5 million, while a 3 bedroom house can be sold for N3 million, since the materials are sourced at home
“To achieve this, institutions like NIBRRI must be properly funded and supported to carry out researches that will help develop materials needed to build houses.
“We have a place like Ajaokuta which can supply iron to the entire African continent, but it is lying there idle nd not working, forcing us to import metals from other places in the world, and at a high cost,” Ngbede lamented.
He also urged government to provide infrastructure, drainage, roads and other facilities necessary for real estate developers so as to ensure a consequence reduction in the cost of houses.

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Housing/Property

Housing Deficit: NGO To Invest $180m In Five Years

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Shelter Afrique, an NGO, is to invest 180 million dollars in five years toward addressing Nigeria’s housing deficit, Mr Andrew Chimphondah, its Managing Director, said yesterday in Abuja.
Chimphondah said that the investment period would span from 2019 to 2024.
He said that Nigeria was a strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the outfit’s shareholders included 44 African countries and two financial institutions.
According to him, Shelter Afrique provides loans, grants and credits for the development of the environment and the provision of houses for Africans.
Chimphondah said that Nigeria had 70 to 20 million estimated housing  shortage.
“We are looking at the demand and supply side of housing. For the supply side, we will enter into Public-Private-Partnership with government with government providing land and subsidised infrastructure.
“Our organisation will provide the funding and expertise to carry out the project.
“We will commit and dedicate all the expertise to ensure that quality houses are delivered; we will also ensure that the houses are energy efficient, environmental friendly and comfortable,” he added.
Chimphondah said that most financial institutions had often complained of funding, but assured Nigerians that the NGO would fashion out a way to reduce the cost of the houses.

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Expert Tasks FG On Building Codes

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An environmental expert, Mr Joseph Effiong, has urged the Federal Government to enforce building codes and provide effective flood forecasting warning systems to mitigate flood risk across the country.
Effiong made the call in an interview with The Tide source on Monday in Abuja.
He said that proactive urban planning, strict enforcement of building codes and development control regulations were required to reduce flooding and its consequences across the country.
“Frequent floods have led to loss of lives and destruction of property in both coastal and landlocked cities across the nation, particularly where floodplains have been developed without recourse to space standards.
“Building code has contributed significantly to mitigate flooding.
“It is not only to provide building codes or building planning but it is important to obey the codes.
“Nigerians are used to living without obeying the laws and regulations of the country.
“We will set a law and we will still disobey the order, it is not good, we should learn how to discipline ourselves by obeying the laws of the country.
Effiong said that the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) recently announced that Nigerians should be prepared for more floods within the year.
He added that the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) report by the agency should be made available to all parts of the country, especially areas where flooding had become an annual occurrence to prepare to people for impending danger.
“I suggest that the agency should be releasing flood forecast and flood early warning report early every year and if possible making it a daily or monthly report.
“The media and the agency should be working together to ensure that the report is released adequately to the public, just like the Nigeria Metrological Agency, (NiMeT) releases weather forecast daily.

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