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Rising material costs affect construction

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By Usman Oladimeji

Project owners are eagerly anticipating a decrease in prices.

There is a noticeable halt in major Construction projects across the country, a stark contrast to previous years. Building professionals attribute this delay to the increasing costs of construction materials, causing project owners to eagerly anticipate a decrease in prices. As a result, completion deadlines and project handover dates are being pushed back. According to a local building contractor Mr. Yusuf Olayiwola, the nation’s construction industry has suffered a significant setback due to the exorbitant increase in building material costs over the past few months.

The cost of essential construction materials such as cement, iron rods, granite, sand, roofing sheets, tiles, and plumbing supplies has been steadily increasing due to inflation, according to dealers. In just under a year, the cost of a 50kg bag of cement has more than doubled, now ranging from ₦4,800 to around ₦10,000 depending on the brand and where it is being sold. Likewise, the price of a ton of 12mm iron rod has surged from ₦446,400 to ₦1,162,500, an increase of over 200 percent in the last year.

High material expenses cause individuals to halt projects.

These soaring costs of construction materials have had a significant impact on building projects. Many project owners have put their plans on hold, while those who decide to move forward are progressing slowly, resulting in construction workers being left with little to do and facing uncertain circumstances. In light of the soaring prices, Mr. David Whesu, an aluminium fabricator, observed a trend of individuals halting their projects due to the increased expenses of materials. This may be attributed to a shift in priorities towards meeting essential needs.

Construction workers are facing a tough situation with a double blow – not only are they unable to work due to the project being halted, but they are also struggling to meet their financial responsibilities towards their families. Despite concerns that halting construction could have negative impacts, experts believe that building material prices will remain stable for the foreseeable future. Abdulazeez Isiaka, a developer and construction engineer, argued that historical trends indicate building material prices are unlikely to revert back to previous levels.

Nigeria is facing a dire situation with rising costs of materials.

Recent efforts by the Federal Government to persuade cement manufacturers in the country to lower prices has backfired, leading to increased tensions and a lack of progress. This has left hopeful Nigerians feeling disappointed and disheartened, as the blame game between manufacturers and government continues with no tangible outcome. Muda Yusuf, CEO of the Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE), recently provided insight into the factors contributing to the rise in cement prices. He attributed the situation to various uncontrollable factors, shifting blame away from cement manufacturers.

It is clear that Nigeria is facing a dire situation with the rising costs of construction materials, especially considering the country’s staggering housing shortage of 28 million as of the end of 2023. Building experts believe that the Housing Crisis in Nigeria is only set to worsen in the coming months. One significant consequence of this rising costs of building materials is that individuals will need to Shell out more money for housing as the demand for limited accommodations continues to increase.

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Abdulazeez expressed concerns about the possibility of homeowners and builders cutting corners by opting for inexpensive and low-quality building materials, leading to a high risk of building collapses in the country. Desperation could drive individuals to compromise on safety measures, ultimately jeopardizing the structural integrity of their projects. Professor Tayo Bello, a specialist in development economics, pointed out that the increasing costs of construction materials are posing a threat to the progress of governmental projects at various levels. This could result in the need for renegotiation of previously awarded contracts, potentially leading to project suspensions as its budget has already been budgeted.


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