Many engineers now use bamboo due to high cost Of iron rods – Builders

By Innocent Raphael

In a recent survey conducted by WesternPost, it has come to light that while many Nigerians whose buildings are under construction have abandoned them, waiting for prices of materials to reduce, and some frustrated project owners selling off their uncompleted properties to interested buyers, others have decided to invent conventional means by replacing iron rods with bamboo.

The survey also discovered that home construction engineers now use bamboo, laced with construction wires to cast decking and pillars of buildings, which usually would requre iron rods for rigidity and firmness.

According to Mr. Andrew Asaga, a building engineer working on a building at Lekki axis of Lagos, 12mm, 16mm, 20mm, 25mm, 10mm, or 8mm iron rods are usually recommended for building apartments depending on the strength of the material and the designs specified.

He added: “Bamboo can also do the job of an iron rods to an extent. Some persons now use only bamboo for the pillars. Some mix bamboo with iron rods for the decking to save cost.

“Others now use only bamboo for decking. “An iron rod costs between N10,000 to N30,000 depending on the size. This was twice the price it was sold for last year.

“Few weeks ago, a client who wanted to build a bungalow asked that I use bamboo mixed with iron rods to build the pillars because the cost of iron rods has increased.

“He wanted me to construct 8 pillars for the building and would need four 12 mm iron rods for a pillar. A ton of 12mm (93 pieces) is now over N1.3 million .

“I don’t know where this country is heading to,” he lamented.

Mr. Atanaza Godbless, another enginee revealed that building developers no longer make profits in the business, because the increasing cost of building materials.

According to him: “When you make a quotation for clients today and they respond next week, you get to the market and discover that the prices of the materials you quoted have increased tremendously.

“You are left with nothing to settle with your workers. At the end you see engineers running away leaving workers unpaid. And such a person is being labelled bad.

“People are now settling for less alternatives of building materials. The cost of iron rods for instance, is making people use bamboo.

“The government is seeing all these and nothing is being done to reduce the cost of building materials. The result of these alternatives is having inferior buildings and increased building collapse.”

Mrs. Fatimetu Momoh, a bamboo seller lamented that the price of a piece of bamboo has also increased from N400 per bamboo to N1500, adding that even used ones usually sold at 200 Naira now sells for N900.

She further stated that the bamboo suppliers complain of challenges in logistics and levies paid on the road as reasons for the inflation.

“This is not something we import. Or do we start importing bamboo? Something we have in our country.

“There is no business that is not frustrated in today’s economy. I pray God will save us from this horrible situation,” she said.

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