The Lagos State Government on Monday called on stakeholders in the built industry to partner with the government in a bid to stem the state’s housing deficit, which is put at three million.

Commissioner for Housing, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, spoke while receiving officials of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) and the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) separately in his office in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Receiving the NIQS, the commissioner stated that the housing deficit of the state is put at three million and that it was not possible for government to meet the demand and that there was the need for surveyors to partner with government to bridge the housing deficit gap.

Lawal said that the old conventional ways of funding housing projects had become inadequate, hence the need for the expertise of the surveyors.

He said the population of Lagos was increasing on daily basis and that there must be new ways of faster housing delivery in line with modern technological advancement.

“There is the need for us to be more innovative to fund the demand for affordable housing,’’ he said, adding that government was currently constructing 5008 housing units in 19 sites, saying that over 500 housing units had been allotted under the government’s Rent-to-Own Housing Scheme.

In his remark, Dele Mafimidiwo, Lagos State Chairman, NIQS,  praised the government for massive infrastructure development ongoing across the state, especially in the area of housing delivery.

Mafimidiwo called for increased engagement of NIQS members in the execution of government projects, saying that the surveyors could assist the government to make progress in the built industry.

Meanwhile, receiving NICE members, Lawal called for support of the engineers to boost the capacity of artisans in the built environment under the state government’s “Master Craftsman Project”.

The project, he said, targeted training 5,000 artisans in five years, adding that there was the need for engineers to embark on more research into locally-produced building materials to cut cost and reduce influx of foreign engineers.

Housing Commissioner, Prince Gbolahan Lawal with members of NICE and top government officials during a courtesy visit by NICE members on Monday.

“We are trying to do a lot to ensure Lagosians are proud home owners. Government’s budget alone cannot fund the projects to bridge our housing deficit and urban infrastructure deficit,’’ he said.

He charged the engineers to come up with new innovation to help government in bridging the housing deficit gap.

The commissioner, who decried incessant building collapse in Lagos, said the engineers could assist government in stemming the tide, which he said was rare in other climes.

He also said government was working with the private sector to develop 20,000 housing units across the state, saying that the engineers could support the government in terms of monitoring and management.

Responding, NICE Chairman, Tokunbo Ajanaku called for the use of alternative building materials to construct houses throughout the year, irrespective of the season, while pledging the support of the institution in this direction.

Ajanaku urged the state government to engage more indigenous civil engineers in its projects execution.

“Our mission is to enhance the capability of our engineers. A lot of our projects have been cornered by big multi-nationals, leaving us unemployed. Unfortunately, some of these multi-nationals lack the capability. Government should look into our direction and engage our members,” he said.

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