Nigeria: Housing deficit huge opportunity for builders      – ABU Vice-Chancellor

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The Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Kabiru Bala said the housing and infrastructure deficit in Nigeria provides enormous opportunities for professional builders to actively participate in building the national economy.

Prof Bala made the observation at a two-day maiden retreat of the Northern Builders’ Forum (NBF) of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, explaining that the construction industry in Nigeria presented significant opportunities for all building professionals despite its numerous challenges.

“With an estimated housing deficit of 28 million units in 2023, and over 50 percent infrastructure deficit, builders and other professionals must prepare themselves to effectively harness the industry’s potential to achieve prosperity”, he urged.

Prof. Bala also stressed that they must organise and reposition themselves in a strategic manner to take maximum advantage of these opportunities.

But the Vice-Chancellor commended the organisers for the choice of the retreat’s theme and described it as “very apt” as it sharpened their understanding of the current economic reforms in relation to their professional practices.

He challenged the Northern Builders’ Forum (NBF) to explore avenues for improving capacity development of their members, enhancing their cohesion, and ensuring strong partnership development.

Prof. Bala urged them to pay significant attention to mentorship in order to appropriately nurture a generation of the younger colleagues, who were going 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 Vice-Chancellor also said that the spate of building collapse in Nigeria called for concerted efforts of all professionals in order to save built environment from quackery and use of inferior construction materials.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Head of Department of Building, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Dr. Mansir Dodo, who was the Local Organising Committee Chairman for the retreat, welcomed the participants and wished them a fruitful retreat.

Prof. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi of the Department of Economics, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, presented the lead paper at the retreat. He spoke on “Imperatives of Economic Reforms and the Performance of the Construction Industry in Nigeria”.

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