Building Material Cost Surge of Over 130% Worsens Nigeria’s Housing Crisis

Emma Bulletin
4 Min Read

Building material costs have skyrocketed, causing widespread project delays and exacerbating Nigeria’s housing crisis.

Many construction projects, like one in Ikorodu, Lagos, have stalled at the roofing stage due to the unaffordable prices, leaving individuals like Michael Segun, a Lagos resident, unable to complete their homes. Segun started his project in late 2022 with hopes of moving in by mid-2024, but the rising costs have outpaced his income as a civil servant, making it impossible to continue.

This situation is not unique to Segun. Across Nigeria, many individuals have had to halt their building projects due to the escalating costs of construction materials. The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) reports that more than 28 million Nigerians lack access to decent and affordable housing, a number that could worsen if material costs continue to rise.

Comparative Analysis of Building Material Costs
Between May 2023 and May 2024, Nigeria’s inflation rate rose from 22.42% to 33.69%, directly impacting the prices of essential building materials. Nairametrics conducted a market survey with dealers in Lagos, revealing an average 13% increase in building material costs over the year.

May 2023: N4,300 per bag
May 2024: N7,500 – N8,000 per bag (74.42% to 86.05% increase)
February 2024 peak: N11,000 – N15,000 per bag
Double steel doors (May 2023): N70,000 – N80,000
Double steel doors (May 2024): N250,000 – N300,000 (200% to 290% increase)
4ft-by-4ft casement aluminium window without burglary protection:
May 2023: N50,000
May 2024: N80,000 (57% increase)
4ft-by-4ft casement aluminium window with burglary protection:
May 2023: N70,000
May 2024: N110,000 (60% increase)
Iron Rods
12mm rod: N8,000 (May 2023) to N19,000 (May 2024)
16mm rod: N4,800 (May 2023) to N11,500 (May 2024)
10mm rod: N3,600 (May 2023) to N9,500 (May 2024)
8mm rod: N2,500 (May 2023) to N6,500 (May 2024)
Overall increase: Over 120%

Impact on Construction Industry Professionals
The sharp rise in building material costs has significantly affected construction industry professionals. Babatunji Adegoke, a Construction and Project Management Advisor, noted a slowdown in projects nationwide, leading to many abandoned projects and increased unemployment among contractors. Contractors often face disputes with clients over additional funds needed to continue projects, sometimes resulting in legal action.

Architect Clinton Amadi highlighted that the rising costs have reduced clients seeking architectural drawings for new projects. Many people lack the resources to start new projects, and some clients are deviating from their architectural designs to cut costs.

Bottom Line
The increase in building material costs has severely hindered many Nigerians’ ability to complete or start construction projects. The Nigerian Senate reports 11,856 abandoned projects, some due to rising material costs. Experts fear this will push more Nigerians into substandard housing units, as property owners might move into partially completed buildings to avoid rising rents.

Despite the challenges, the situation has created opportunities for construction professionals to become claims specialists and arbitrators, advising on additional funds or time needed for projects and resolving disputes between parties.

Share this Article
Leave a comment