‘Investment in modern technology key to solving housing deficit’

Only investment in appropriate technologies that will reduce the cost of building without any comprise in quality can truly lead to the provision of low cost mass housing in the country.

This was the view of a seasoned estate surveyor and valuer, Mr Osita Okoli, in a chat with Tribune Property. He noted that an example of such technology was EPS which strangely had been in use in advanced countries for about four decades.

“If anybody in Nigeria desires to provide quality mass housing, apart from the issue of title which is being dealt with on a national level, he must strive to reduce the cost of construction which depends mostly on the cost of building materials.

“Because of the kind of technology that we use in this part of the world, which include mortar and tensile steel, much is expended on the acquisition of materials alone.

“But there are a lot of savings that can be made with the use of appropriate technology. There is a technology called EPS (Expanded Polystheren), which is a major technology that has been adopted in the US and other parts of the world for over 40 years.

“In my interactions, I have seen that the technology helps to achieve strong and durable houses. This technology, takes use of various materials that are expertly enmeshed together,” he said.

This gives better sound, water and fire insulations. It also cut the costs of construction as well as reducing time, which is of great essence in house construction,” he said.

Okoli, who is an ex-president of International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI Africa Region), also stated that given the high number of housing deficit in the country, no serious government could afford to ignore investing in such technology.

“If you are able to reduce the cost of construction as well as time by as much as 25 per cent, this will go a long way in aiding the availability of mass low cost housing in the country. This can be achieved with appropriate technology and no serious government can ignore this.

Therefore, the government should set up a policy that would invest more in appropriate technology that will reduce the cost of construction. Because it is only when this is done that the government can truly produce cheap and quality housing to the citizenry at affordable prices,” he stated.