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Economic Recession: Building Materials Record Low Sales

The economic recession affecting the country has led to decrease in the procurement of building materials, Daily Trust investigation has reported.

Experts attributed the low sales and increase in the prices of some building materials to fact that most of the building materials are foreign and the steady rise of the dollar against the naira.

Chairman of Estate Surveyors and valuer Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) William Odudu said that the recession has also led to huge loss of jobs among the industry.

He said, “The economic recession is a rain that drenched everybody. Because when there is no money in the system, one of the most noticeable areas is in the building industry. Not only as individuals, even organisations. Most highbrow properties now are currently vacant because they have settled to lesser neighborhoods because of money insufficiency. a lot of people are affected, but then every profession must see that during recession you must not pack it up and say you’re going home. You must be able to manage it because recession will come and go.”

He called on government to engage the services of professional bodies in the industry each in the private and public sector to guard the sector from total collapse in the face of the recession.

Mrs. Florence Onyeka who sells aluminium doors and windows at Jabi district of Abuja told Daily Trust that the low sales being recorded in the sector has never been so bad.

Onyeka who has been in the business for over ten years, cited scarcity of forex coupled with unstable rates to dwindling sales.

She lamented how the situation has caused a serious hike in prices of her wares, thereby making it difficult for her numerous customers to buy. She said, “At the moment, the increment is nearly 5 times what the prices used to be across all commodities.

She said that interlock luster for windows which she used to sell for N1200, are currently sold for, N2800 even as she lamented the increase inflow of substandard products.

For Edward Gamadi who sells POP and paints said, “Before recession I used to sell a bag of POP for N2350, but now the modest you can get it is N4100. That is nearly 100% increase. My paint used to be sold for around, N1200/1300 but now it is N2100.” The turnover has been generally affected and essentially our major problem has been over dependence on imported materials when we can produce domestically and ease the pressure on foreign exchange. “Fillers are imported from Kenya even when we have them in large quantities here but due to epileptic power supply and an abysmal irrigation, we are leaving them to waste.”

Mr Uzor Uzochuckwu whose building materials supply business has similarly taken a nosedive, lamented that the new price regime has been a frustrating development.

Uzochukwu said that TV guard that sells for N1000 have increased to N1800.

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