Okunnu urges professionals to end high cost of construction

Former Federal Commissioner for works and housing, Chief Femi Okunnu

Former Federal Commissioner for works and housing, Chief Femi Okunnu has appealed to quantity surveyors to help the government in reducing the increasing cost of construction in the country.

Okunnu said as the determinant of the quantity of building materials needed for construction, the professionals have the primary responsibility to help the nation in cutting down prices of building materials

He spoke at the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Lagos Chapter annual dinner/investiture of new chairman and inauguration of new senate members of the chapter.

He expressed concerns on the situation and urged quantity surveyors to work with the federal, state and local governments as the most qualified professional in the sector to mitigate the challenge.

“You have the primary responsibility to help the nation to bring down the cost of building in the country. It is gratifying that we now have a large number of quantity surveyors in Nigeria compared to the late 1960′ s and early 1970’s when I was in government, then the numbers of quantity surveyors was not up to ten”, he stated.

On the political situation, he lamented absence of politicians who are patriots, principled and men of integrity in the build up to 2019 polls.
According to him, members of the profession must commit themselves and join political parties of goodwill who are determined to address the issue of restructuring of the country.

” I challenge political parties to officially and clearly commit to the politics of restructuring the country. Nigeria can’t continue with 36states, physical federalism is another issue political parties seeking for election must commit to and we must go back to fair sharing of revenue of the country to ensure stability”.

President of the institute, Obafemi Onashile said the institute is championing a lot of reforms at the industry and institutes’ level.

According to him, two bills on building and engineering construction safety and construction industry payment assurance have been initiated.

He stressed that the institute is also consciously monitoring the exportation of Nigerian Quantity Surveyors expertise abroad, creating new divisions, embarking and completing it’s Abuja office among others.

While performing the investiture of Mr. Akere Ayuba as the new chairman, Onashile urged him to lead in accordance with the oath of allegiance to the institute, discharge duties with the best of ability and in accordance to the constitution of NIQS.

In his acceptance speech, Ayuba pledged to use his knowledge gained over the years having served for about 14years in the institute, to move NIQS to a greater height.

He said, efforts would be geared toward consolidating on the achievement of his predecessor.

“We will link job seekers to employers, improve on knowledge acquisition for members by providing refresher courses, conduct yearly lecture and improving relationship with other professionals in the industry”, he said.

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