To bridge the country’s housing gap, professionals in the real estate sector have recommended the rehabilitation of dilapidated buildings instead of demolishing them.
The Chief Executive Officer of Land Republic, Dr Victor Adebile, said upgrading existing structures through building rehabilitation can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution to Nigeria’s housing shortage, while also preserving cultural heritage, creating job opportunities, and promoting sustainability.
He said, “I believe that building rehabilitation is a viable and sustainable solution that offers a cost-effective alternative to demolishing and rebuilding new structures. In my opinion, upgrading existing structures to meet modern safety standards while preserving their unique cultural heritage can address Nigeria’s housing shortage while creating job opportunities for local communities and promoting sustainability.
“The success of building rehabilitation programmes in many countries worldwide, including Barcelona and Paris, demonstrates their effectiveness in creating affordable housing units, especially in urban areas where housing is expensive and in high demand. Additionally, the Egyptian government’s programme to rehabilitate historic buildings in Cairo is a perfect example of how building rehabilitation can promote cultural heritage, create jobs, and boost tourism.”
In the same vein, the Treasurer of Nigeria Institute of Building, Philips Ayotunde, said if distressed buildings were demolished, it will increase the huge deficit the country already has.
He said, “If these distressed buildings can be successfully rehabilitated, that would be a plus to the building industry. In addition, if the existing buildings we have are well maintained, these buildings would last longer and new ones that are being constructed must not be a compromise of quality.”
Meanwhile, Adegbile cautioned that safety must be a top priority during the rehabilitation process to prevent any potential safety hazards.
He added, “As real estate developers, we should prioritise the safety of the buildings and the people living in them. Regulatory bodies and governments should enforce building codes and standards to ensure the sustainability and safety of the upgraded structures.
“Overall, I believe that building rehabilitation is a promising solution to address the housing deficit in Nigeria while preserving the country’s cultural heritage. By working together with regulatory bodies and the government, we can enforce high building standards, ensure safety and sustainability, and provide affordable housing to those who need it most.”