To strengthen collaboration among stakeholders in the state’s construction industry, the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) and the Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA) have held a strategic meeting with distributors of building materials in the state to promote local content use among builders.
Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, speaking during the meeting, said there was a need to forge alliances and partnership among stakeholders in the industry to ensure that a substantial amount of materials used in building constructions in the state are from local manufacturers and distributors.
He said the move was necessary to mitigate the use of sub-standard materials in building construction so as to forestall building collapse and other hazards.
According to Uwaibi, “We are very concerned about the improvement of businesses in Edo. One of the challenges that we have had is that, when investors come, they complain of the capacity of the local businesses. We are looking at promoting local content in building projects in the state.
“Edo products have to meet international standards. For example, if an investor or a developer buys rods to construct his storey building and the building collapses, that will be an issue. So, how do we ensure that the rods manufactured in Edo State can meet the right standards? Bearing in mind that the more that is produced here, the better for the businesses and the economy”
He added: “We have observed that most of the Diaspora brothers and sisters invest huge amounts of their exchange in consumption and construction. The construction is where you people belong. I had a conversation with an investor who said he spent over 250 million naira on his residential house in Edo State and over 80 percent of that money went to another state because he had to bring workers and materials from there.
“You can see that for us to be able to strengthen local content, we need to also strengthen local capacity. We are trying to look at this right now and as we get along, other sister agencies will come support to see how we can together strengthen the industry. We are going to expand the conversation further”
The Managing Director, Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA), Mr. John Zedomi, noted that there was the need to interface with stakeholders in the building materials sector within the state in order to understand the issues they face.
He said: “We want to deliver affordable housing to the people of Edo State. We need to see standard materials that are affordable and available in the state. Materials that are sourced locally grow the local economy. We want to first interface with the distributors of building materials so that we can begin to sanitize and collaborate with them to ensure that we can deliver the right housing that is affordable to the people”
President of the New Builders Association, Edo State, Mr. Oyang Paul Ubah noted that the problem of sub-standard building materials can be addressed by establishing strong synergy with the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and other standardization and regulatory authorities in the state and the country.