AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION IN PRESENT-DAY NIGERIA: A FEASIBLE REALITY?
As I sat down on a serene Sunday morning, engrossed in Donald Asher's thought-provoking book, my mind began to wander back to past experiences. A tweet from a friend also flashed through my thoughts, promising collaboration on a future writing project. However, that is a tale for another time.
Recently, a lively debate erupted online about the possibility of affordable housing for Nigerians. It all started when a man shared a building design and boldly claimed that he could construct a typical 2-bedroom house of such design for a mere ₦5 million, provided the individual already owned the land. Naturally, this statement sparked intense discussions about the feasibility of such an endeavor and also on affordable housing for average earning Nigerians. While some dissenting voices questioned its reality, the majority seemed optimistic. However, as a seasoned construction professional, I cannot help but analyze the situation from a different perspective.
A quick glance at the design, floor area, foundation, construction methods, finishes and electrical and mechanical fittings reveals the impracticality of this claim. Now, don't misunderstand me ₦5 million can indeed complete a construction project, depending on the client's preferences. However, in today's Nigerian economy, it is unlikely to manifest the man's vision at such a cost. I eagerly anticipate his Twitter space, where he promises to elaborates on the viability of his assertion, as knowledge is an eternal quest. Until then, I will keep the material costs I initially calculated in my mind and later jotted down on a rough paper. Instead, I feel compelled to enlighten the public about the multitude of factors that contribute to the overall cost of a construction project. Quantity surveyors do not merely conjure up a tender sum; their calculations consider various crucial elements.
These factors are not intended to deter or dishearten anyone. Instead, they aim to shed light on the intricacies and realities of construction project costs. Construction professionals, including architects, quantity surveyors, engineers, builders, and land surveyors, are readily available to provide guidance. So, instead of being swayed by lofty motivational rhetoric, seek assistance from these experts when you are ready. Even in the face of prevailing economic challenges, you can still materialize your dream house by following the appropriate procedures.