Though it is difficult to determine the exact figure representing Nigeria’s housing deficit, real estate developers association of Nigeria (REDAN) says addressing the deficit even at the current 17 million units estimate will catalyze the productive sectors of the economy.
Building more houses to close the demand-supply gap would require an active manufacturing sector that will supply cement, roofing sheets, nails, iron, glasses for windows/doors, cladding materials; professional service providers, artisans, skilled and unskilled labour including bricklayers, carpenters, tilers and plumbers.
“Catalyzing this sector is imperative because the market is available”, said Ugochukwu Chime, REDAN president, who spoke at the opening of West African Ceramics Limited Royal Experience Centre in Lagos recently, insisting that effective demand needed to be enhanced and matched to off-taker affordability and supply.
Chime noted that Nigeria was yet to realize this potential and advised that the country should design an effective implementation guideline with the involvement of critical stakeholders in the value chain.
“Addressing the housing deficit will have a game-changing impact on our society and our communities”, he added, noting that globally, there is a strong consensus that the development of the housing sector is important for stimulating economic growth and job creation in any economy”, he said.
Cost of construction is a significant component of housing and, according to a national housing board (NAHB) 2017 survey report, the cost is as high as 56 percent. This cost is determined by land, finance and cost of funds, labour and building materials.
Others are infrastructure including primary and secondary, cost of land titling and registering property, and affordability gap. “We realise that to attain affordability for all classes of prospective homeowners, we must isolate and attenuate the cost of these input factors. And this WACL has devoted their energy and talent to doing over the years”, Chime stated.
He reasoned that any effort to reduce the cost of housing was a tonic to availability and affordability of home ownership to Nigerians, adding that given the generally low income level among off-takers for housing products, developers were keen on how cost of houses could be brought to minimal level.
Developers, he said, were interested in taking advantage of any opportunity, including uptake of new and emerging technologies to reduce the cost of construction and it was on that premise that we found Royal Ceramics’ efforts cardinal and imperative.
WACL’s production technology is one in which most of the raw materials used are locally sourced. This has assisted in reducing the cost of their products without reducing the quality. And with their very high quality products, they have demonstrated their contributions to not only national economic growth, but also helped to reduce cost of houses.
Expectation is that the new experience centre will help the discerning customers, developers, professionals in the built industry and project owners to choose their tiles and marble/granite.
The centre which is a multifaceted showroom and hub will give the feel of ‘finish in S’tile’, thereby giving due value for money to the owner. It will give the exact concept of how the design will align with the taste and aesthetics initially conceived by the homeowner.
The centre’s design and interior configuration will assist to bring product information, including sample, availability, brand and delivery closer to the end-users. Being a one-stop shop solution for everything tiles, wall, flooring, roofing and allied products, this novel approach will help in upscaling WACL products’ market share and reach.