Lagos – Some operators in the real estate industry, on Wednesday, advised the Federal Government on the plan to phase out existing mud houses across the country.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was inappropriate to demolish such houses, considering the present housing deficit.
According to them, the mud houses have saved thousands of Nigerians from being homeless, particularly in the rural areas.
NAN recalls that the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, earlier disclosed that the Federal Government had begun developing a draft to phase out mud houses across the country.
The minister disclosed this on July 9 when he visited the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, Nnewi in Anambra.
Onu said this would be done through a research that would bring cheap building materials to the country to enable Nigerians build decent and affordable houses.
Mr Chucks Omeife, a former President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, said that the immediate plan of the government should be how to deliver affordable housing to the people.
Omeife said that depleting the existing ones would not add any economic value to the country’s housing deficit.
He added that the focus should be on how to crash down the over 17 million housing deficit in the country.
“Allow the mud houses to stay because in some countries like Singapore and Malaysia, the mud houses serve as monuments and legacies.
“The mud houses are energy-conserving, so what government should do is to encourage researches on how to construct houses that will be as energy-conserving as the mud ones,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Lewis Ladipo, the Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), said that the government should first carry out integrity tests on the mud houses to ascertain their stability.
Ladipo said that the test would reveal whether the mud houses could be defective and therefore due for demolition.
“Obviously, mud houses are cost-effective, conducive and more economical to manage.
“However, if after necessary tests and investigations on the mud houses, they are found to be posing danger to human lives, the government can demolish or phase them out,” Ladipo said. (NAN)