Daily Trust (Abuja)

2 January 2013

Nigeria: NIQS Calls for Professionals' Input Into Housing Policies

The President, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Mr. Agele Alufohai, has renewed the call for professional opinion on critical national issues like housing policies, transparent contract administration and procurement, and the phenomenon of abandoned projects, among others.

The call was made during the two-day Mandatory Leadership Development Programme workshop and Annual General Meeting of the institute.

The theme of the workshop was: 'Corporate transformation and leadership challenges: The construction sector within the Federal Government Transformation Agenda.'

Alufohai said the profession and issues of strategic importance were becoming widely known and should be understood by professionals in the construction industry and the economy as well as the general public.

He said the profession should be better placed to play key roles in national development for the benefit of the nation as a whole.

The NIQS president said the body had used advocacy tools such as media interviews, seminars, advertisements and press releases to promote facts and viewpoints to advance the cause of the profession and the national economy.

Alufohai explained that housing was an important factor in national life and pointed out that the amount of money spent on and the proportion of the financial system connected to real estate development made housing a dominant part of the economy.

He said, "Housing policy is simply to assist people live in safe and healthy accommodation that they can afford. It will help individuals acquire their own houses. It will enable others to spend as little as possible of their income on paying rent.

"It will also enable others who might be too poor to pay for any type of accommodation to have shelters over their heads."

He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to concentrate on long term mortgages, which would become the means through which the majority of Nigerians, especially those in urban centres, could acquire homes and also build a system of urban development that was closely integrated with the construction of low-cost housing.

To address the challenges of affordable housing provision, the NIQS boss said contributions by government housing bonds, financial institutions and interna-tional sources, as well as good roads should be incorporated.

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