Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading cement manufacturer in the country is to adopt some measures aimed at contributing to the efforts of making affordable mass housing for all possible.
The firm made this disclosure at a media briefing to unfold the fifth edition of the LafargeHolcim Awards in Ikeja, Lagos, on Friday.
Mrs Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, Director, Communications and Public Affairs (CPA), in her address on the occasion, said the firm made safety its priority as a way of setting the pace for the nation’s quality construction industry.
She said that the LafargeHolcim awards which began in 2015 after the Lafarge and Holcim merger, would assist in addressing the problem of building collapse and construction failure in Nigeria.
According to her, entries would be drawn from architects, planners, engineers, project owners, builders, construction firms, NGOs and students.
The idea is to encourage sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socio-economic and cultural issues affecting building and construction.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Lafarge in Africa,” she said.
In her presentation, Mrs Temitope Oguntokun, the firm’s resource person, said that Nigeria needed to build 700,000 houses annually to meet the housing deficit of 17 million units in the nation.
Quoting the UN Habitat, she said by 2030, there would be 54 million people living in Abuja, Benin City, Ibadan, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Onitsha and Port Harcourt.
According to her, there is a pressing need for a rapidly urbanising Nigeria
to develop large scale housing in a sustainable manner.
“LafargeHolcim Awards rewards and empowers advocates of sustainable construction.
“It encourages the adoption of sustainable construction standards in design, use of materials, maintenance, urban planning and infrastructure investment,” she said.
Oguntokun said that a total of two million dollar cash prize was attached to the event, which holds every three years, citing Nigeria’s Kunle Adeyemi, as one of the winners of the 2014 Acknowledgement Prizes.
The competition is open to students and professionals from 90 countries including Nigeria and it carries a cash reward of 150,000; 100,000 and 50,000 dollars respectively for the first second and third place winners.