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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Stakeholders Express Worry Over High Cost Of Construction

Stakeholders have raised concern about the country’s high building costs and taxation.

They made the remark during a “Construction Industry Roundtable” on the Appropriation Act 2022 in Abuja.

The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) and the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) co-hosted the event, which was titled “Appropriation Act 2022 and the Construction Industry Outlook.”

The goal of the summit, according to NIQS President Olayemi Shonubi, was to bring in significant players in the industry and areas to engage government in advocacy and propose solutions.

In addition, the event would serve as a platform to engage government officials in developing policies that will make things easier for them in the field.

Shonubi cited excessive taxation, high pricing in building/construction materials and gasoline, an unfriendly climate for investors, and the energy crisis as some of the issues.

“The taxation, for example, is the major areas to all of us, how do we engage the legislators so that there is a way they can look at to reduce some of the burdened areas to favour Nigerians. The bottom line is that the way the sector is, given the inflation, for instance, the price of diesel, is very difficult for some of us to meet the demand in the sector.

“Earlier in the year, we were buying diesel at about N400, but now it is about N700 per a litre. It is difficult for so many people to cope,” he said.

He, however, urged the government to create an environment that encourages private sector investment in the development of roads, residences, and other infrastructure, as these would relieve the government’s burden.

AIHS 2022

According to him, the construction industry is the largest employer, and rising prices of other supporting commodities could drive individuals to leave their jobs.

“Mark you, the construction industry is the major employer in the country.

“If you go to the construction site, there are so many people working there and of course, it has its own multiplier effects,” he added.

“Apart from workers that are engaged, you can talk of the suppliers of cement, sand, gravels and you have those women who cook food there for the workers,” he said.

Emmanuel Wike, President of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, expressed optimism that the event will have an impact.

According to him, the industry is one of the sectors that helps to promote the economy, and they gathered to brainstorm ways to develop the sector in Nigeria.

Mr Babatundae Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, praised the two professional associations for taking the initiative to meet the goals of the 2022 Appropriation Act.

Fashola, who was represented by Mr Temitope Pemi, the ministry’s Head of Quantity Surveyor, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has recognized the industry’s contributions to the economy, including GDP.

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