Mr Dipo Ajayi, President, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), on Friday urged architects to start designing low-cost buildings using local materials for affordability.
Ajayi gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of Lagos Architects Forum 2019, organised by the Nigeria Institute of Architects in Lagos.
Ajayi said that using local materials for architectural works would make building designs less expensive and affordable to low income earners.
He noted that greater percentage of the Nigerian population fell under the category.
According to him, most building designs are constructed with imported and high cost materials, and as a result, are expensive and not affordable to low income earners.
He said that the increasing population of Lagos State had made it imperative that low-cost houses should be constructed to prevent further creation of slum areas by people who could not afford rent fees.
“At present, Lagos State population is about 21 million. This has resulted in a lot of slums in the state.
“It means that Lagos needs to play up its game to enhance housing and infrastructure development to meet up with the growing population.
“Therefore, architects need to come up with building designs which low-income earners can afford so that, at least, 70 per cent of the population can have access to decent accommodation,” he said.
Ajayi added that a viable mortgage system was also imperative for tackling the challenges facing the housing sector in Nigeria.
He said that a viable mortgage system would strengthen homeownership for low-income earners through, for instance, a rent-to-own financing system.
He said that lack of adequate financing was an obstacle to housing development, adding that there was the need for all stakeholders in the building industry to think outside the box in proffering the much-needed financing solutions to the challenges facing the housing sector.
“Mortgage financing is an important contributor to economic growth through its multiplier effects. It is capable of promoting private residential investments, attracting foreign exchange inflow and increasing consumer spending on housing services.
“It is also capable of creating mass jobs for artisans and craftsmen such as electricians, welders, masons, painters, plumbers and to other high level professionals such as civil engineers, architects and structural designers,” Ajayi said.
According to him, availability of affordable home mortgage loans to a large portion of the population would serve the growth-enhancing and re-distributive objectives of the poverty-reducing policies of the government.