Thursday, July 18, 2024

Housing deficit opportunity for builders to regenerate economy: ABU VC

“Builders and other professionals in the construction sector must organise and reposition themselves in a strategic manner.’’

• July 4, 2024
Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof Kabiru Bala (Credit: NAN)
Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof Kabiru Bala (Credit: NAN)

The Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Prof Kabiru Bala, has said housing and infrastructure deficit in the country provides opportunities for professional builders to reduce unemployment and regenerate the economy.

The VC made the remarks during the two-day maiden retreat of the Northern Builders’ Forum of the Nigerian Institute of Building in Zaria on Wednesday.

Mr Bala said that the construction industry in Nigeria presents significant opportunities for professionals, despite its numerous challenges.

He said, “With an estimated housing deficit of 28 million units in 2023, and over 50 per cent infrastructure deficit, builders and other professionals must prepare themselves to effectively harness the industry’s potential to achieve prosperity. Builders and other professionals in the construction sector must organise and reposition themselves in a strategic manner to take maximum advantage of these opportunities.’’

The VC, who commended the organisers for the choice of the retreat’s theme – “Imperatives of economic reforms and the performance of the construction industry in Nigeria” – described it as “very apt.”

“It asserts the understanding of the current economic reforms in relation to your professional practices,” he said.

He challenged the body to explore avenues for improving capacity development of members to enhance cohesion and ensure strong partnership development.

Mr Bala urged them to pay significant attention to mentorship to appropriately nurture a generation of the younger colleagues expected to take over the professional space from them.

He explained that the retreat came at a time when the activities of the professionals in the Nigerian built environment were put to question on the basis of professional competence, diligence and capacity to deliver a safe built environment for human habitation.

The VC also said that the spate of building collapse in Nigeria called for concerted efforts of professionals to save the built environment from quackery and use of inferior construction materials.

Earlier in his address, Head of ABU’s Department of Building, Dr. Mansir Dodo, who was the Local Organising Committee Chairman for the retreat, urged his colleagues to explore available opportunities to improve their capacities.

Prof. Aliyu-Rafindadi Sanusi of the Department of Economics, ABU, who presented the lead paper at the retreat, spoke on “Imperatives of economic reforms and the performance of the construction industry in Nigeria.”

He said that the performance of the construction industry was important for economic growth and development.

“There is, thus, the need for new policies at the national and sub-national levels that will protect the sector from the vagaries of the market and some unintended policy effect,” he said.


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