The Federal Government says it will continue to use red bricks for the construction of its housing projects as it will promote local content and boost provision of affordable houses.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that red brick is produced by mixing red earth (laterite) with little quantity of cement.
Mr Ibikunle Sonibare, a Federal Controller, disclosed this on Thursday in Ilorin in an interview with NAN.
Sonibare, an architect and Team Leader, spoke during inspection of National Housing Programme (NHP), site in Ilorin by some top officials of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, led by NHP Zonal Director, Mr Valentine Nwaimo.
He underscored numerous benefits of red brick houses, including fire resistant, bullet proof and terminal properties, which enables it to regulate outdoor temperature especially in tropical areas to suit the occupants.
He said that it was due to its benefits that not less than 30 indigenous artisans were also trained in the site by exposing them on the skills of constructing housing with red bricks.
“By doing this while using the HYDRAFORM model, the bricks are interlocked, when the house is completed, you have the option of plastering or not.
“Generally we have laterite in abundance in the country; it is cheaper than cement which is very expensive now and can be easily sourced in any part of the country to build affordable houses.
“The percentage of cement required is very low, just between five to 10 per cent of cement is needed to stabilise the earth (laterite),’’ he said.
The architect advised Nigerians to key into its usage, because of its cost effective nature, climatic purposes, environmental friendly nature and energy efficiency.
Sonibare noted that the Federal Government would not relent in its usage as an alternative housing type to boost local building materials manufacturing and local content in the country.
NAN reports that the red brick pilot project of the NHP are ongoing in Kwara, Niger, Ekiti, Enugu and Ondo states.
The Ilorin NHP site, located at Asa Dam Road, comprises 76 housing units, four units are made of red bricks.
He said that the four units were being used as a pilot scheme to check if it could gain acceptance by Nigerians.