Experts have called on the federal government to review the Land Use Act of 1978 to reduce the housing deficit in the country.

They noted that Nigeria presently has over 28 million housing deficit due to many hindrances in accessing land for housing development.

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They equally called on the government to regulate the building industry as a way of checkmating activities of non-professionals who have dominated the industry to reduce incessant cases of building collapse.

The duo of Dr. Olabisi Baiyewu and Dr. Samson Agbato stated this during a press conference on the 3rd International Conference of the School of Environmental Studies, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, slated to be held from September 28 to 29th.

The theme of the Conference is “Sustainable Built Environment and Innovative Development in the 21st Century”.

“So much shortage of housing in our country. As of today, we have over 28 million housing shortages in the rural and urban areas. We hope to offer solutions. We want to mitigate the impact of the cost of building materials on human existence. So that in the next 10 years, we can have a roadmap that will guarantee a reduction in the housing supply.

“There are institutional frameworks to address the problem of housing shortage. When you look at housing, housing has some legs, and we have the land, materials, finance, and regulatory aspects. Government needs to address the Land Use Act of 1978 to ensure easy access of people to land for development,” Agbato said.

Baiyewu explained that the two-day conference would proffer solutions to the challenges of the 21st Century as it relates to the Built Environment, submitting that the Conference is preparing for the future.

He posited the need for government and stakeholders in the Built Environment to ensure that the practice is well coordinated and controlled to address the issue of incessant building collapse all over the country.

Baiyewu said, “Practice itself has not been well coordinated and controlled. Anybody can just put up a building anyhow, even without qualified hands handling it. There are so many people who are not architects, and they are designing buildings. We need to control practice. We need to control the way things are done.

“All qualified hands must be engaged in all processes of building. This will bring issues of collapsed buildings to the barest minimum level. We need to build a solid foundation vis a vis architectural, structural, and civil practices in the built environment. All practitioners must be at the front burner to control practice.”

Agbato equally corroborated Baiyewu’s position on the need for regulation in the building industry to address building collapse cases.

He described the issue of building collapse as a serious challenge that the government and other relevant agencies must rise up to address.

“The issue of building collapse is a serious issue in our country. This has to do with the institution that regulates us, the government. You will realize that if you have money today, you automatically become a developer; as a developer, you have an objective to make money.

“To make money, you cut down on the quality of building materials and personnel you are supposed to employ. When you put all these together, there is no way there won’t be cases of building collapse.

“Professionals in the industry have made efforts to come together to form a committee, and this committee will be relating with government agencies to ensure that every building has appropriate approval, and when they approved, they ensured monitoring to ensure compliance on what has been approved. Corruption is one of the factors responsible for building collapse; once we are able to attack corruption, we may have this issue solved.”

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