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Rising Costs of Materials: Housing Minister Vows to Punish Corrupt Developers, Operators

By Adaobi Rhema Oguejiofor

Over the years, situations involving corrupt practices by housing developers are no longer uncommon, leaving those in need of houses vulnerable and losing their trust in the Nigerian housing sector. This is why the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, has warned that Real Estate Developers, who engage in cutting corners would be penalized.
During the flag-off ceremony of Project Broadfield by the Dynamic Mayor Edge Company and the opening of the 102 units of luxury apartments, as well as high-end offices in Abuja, the minister stated this in response to citizens’ grievances about the increasing incidents of real estate fraud and customers expressing dissatisfaction as a result of the perceived lack of value for their money.
Dangiwa cautioned developers against deceiving subscribers by delivering substandard projects after collecting payments to provide quality standards in housing projects. He assured that the government is committed to protecting citizens’ rights, as well as preventing and tackling real estate fraud, noting that such actions would no longer be tolerated, as the government is collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure accountability and protection of citizens’ rights.
In his words,” I want to warn all developers that the days of cutting corners in these housing types are over and those who collect money from beneficiaries off-plan and at the end of the day dupe them, should stop doing that because the days for that are over.
“We are collaborating effectively with the EFCC, which is the agency of the government saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the rights of the citizens are enforced, in order to remedy the sector”, the minister disclosed.
The Housing Minister expressed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to citizens’ welfare, and has demonstrated his said commitment through initiatives like the Dynamic Mayor Edge Group’s Estate Project, which aligns with the government’s vision for sustainable urban development.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dynamic Mayor Edge Group, Olumayowa Olurishe, while speaking at the opening, unveiled plans to construct and deliver a minimum of 700 homes by 2027, pledging to make further investments in Nigeria’s real estate sector.
He said the company has a vision to be among the top 10 luxury home providers in Nigeria by 2032 because it believes that every Nigerian deserves luxury, irrespective of their budget size. While adding that by 2027, when the Company will be celebrating its 10th anniversary, it plans to have built and delivered at least, 700 homes; he noted that “In the past 6 years, we have completed over 150 affordable luxury homes, and our Apo-Dutse project, which is planned to be commissioned in October, upon completion, will make it over 300 units of affordable luxury homes that have been delivered within seven years of establishment as a company.”
Meanwhile, despite this significant addition to Nigeria’s housing sector and the company’s promise of more, some housing developers have called on the government to intervene in the rapidly increasing costs of building materials in the country in order to allow more Nigerians to become homeowners.
The Managing Director and CEO of Richland Property and Homes Limited, Dr. Ifeanyi Nwachukwu, made the call during a media briefing in Lagos, where he noted that waivers on certain imported items and the removal of unnecessary taxes on building materials by the government would help in addressing the issue of the rising cost of building materials currently experienced in the nation.
Nwachukwu expressed that the real estate sector is not protected from the challenges thrown up by the rising cost of building materials and services as a result of the current economic situation in the country.
According to him, the developers hope that the government will come up with interventions that would support their efforts to continue helping more Nigerians become satisfied homeowners in line with their vision and mission.
The CEO of Darryl Homes Nigeria Limited, Yusuf Odumade, also urged the Federal Government to intervene in the rising costs of building materials to encourage the private sector to bridge the country’s housing deficits. He said that many developers have discontinued their projects in the hopes that there will be a rapid decrease in material prices, as prices have surged, with some materials seeing nearly a 100 per cent increase. For example, cement prices have skyrocketed, reaching as high as N13,000 per bag or more in some areas.
In his words, “market dynamics have become unpredictable, with fluctuating prices throughout the day and even sometimes, from one day to the next. Urgent government intervention is required to address this crisis and stabilize the economy, realizing the aspirations of a better Nigeria for all.”
However, Nwachukwu emphasized the importance of prospective investors engaging in land banking in order to support future homeowners in various estates nationwide, thereby enhancing the return on their investments.