Read excerpts in ‘thisdayonline.com’ newspaper
The nation’s housing stock will improve considerably if tertiary institutions research and develop more local content building materials.
Union Homes Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. E. Austine Aikhorin said this yesterday when a delegation from the Department of Building, University of Lagos, led by Dr. K.T. Odusami, Head of Department, visited Union Homes Management.
Aikhorin, who particularly tasked institutions with good facilities for research, extolled the Department of Building, Unilag, for its quality scholarship, and urged them to join in the efforts to reduce the spiraling cost of home-ownership in the country, by focusing the department’s research and teaching programmes on values that would stimulate increased understanding, development and application of more local building materials, to supplement expensive and imported alternatives.
He said to speed up home-ownership, even at lower levels of income brackets, Union Homes has concluded arrangements to introduce Real Estate Investment Trust scheme (REITs) to Nigeria’s housing market.
REITs is an innovation that can sustain mass home-ownership at all levels, especially for young people and new employees
The scheme, already in practice in some Asian countries, is being introduced for the first time in Africa by Union Homes.
Dr. Odusami thanked Union Homes for its support of the Building Department and presented an award to the Primary Mortgage Institution.
The need to encourage research in our tertiary institutions to embrace local resources is long overdue, Western civilization or not what we have failed to do is marrying our so called civilization with our heritage and that is causing crises in the building industries.
As seemingly advanced and sophisticated the Asians are they have been able to retain their traditional architecture, they only have to research on the local materials and improve on it.
In our own case before civilisation we were using mud, raffia palms and other natural and available materials to build our houses but what we failed to do is to make further research and make these materials more durable, affordable and useful, this is no doubt the bane of our civilisation.
The undergraduate is young in heart and brain and is the best person to undertake the task of repositioning our building industry right from the school, therefore it gladdens my heart to know that the Union Homes are taking the initiatives of encouraging low cost housing shemes which can only be achieved when we invest in reseach and use our local materials.