Posted by Amechi Obiakpu, Lagos | 18 February 2016 | 4,152 times
Stakeholders in the building industry have called for all hands to be on deck for the growth of the sector. They said that the construction industry can serve as a leeway for the economy even as the present government grapple with dearth of revenue as a result of fall in international oil price.
The stakeholders who spoke at the premier trade exhibition for the building industry, AfricaBuild Lagos, on Tuesday said the best time to act is now.
Speaking under the theme, “Adding value to the modernisation of the Nigerian building industry,” Engr. Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, Commissioner, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Lagos State, said: “It is a common belief that infrastructure impact directly on the ability of any nation to grow its economy. The experience of any nation, both developed and developing clearly bears out this unique relationship. It is sure that investments in infrastructure always create jobs, enhance movement of goods, services and people, lead to redistribution of income and engender in a general way, an efficient and effective economic structure.”
Tijani Shu’aib; National President, Nigerian Institute of Building, said: “Being Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria is also expected to become one of the world’s top 20 economies by 2050. Overall Nigerian imports increased from US$32bn in 2009 to US$55bn in 2014. With imports of construction equipment and building material machines worth US$537mn in 2014 Nigeria ranks among the top 4 African importers of these technologies, together with South Africa, Algeria and Egypt.
“Nigeria’s construction industry is currently worth around US$69bn and employs 5% of its 180 million population. Its construction industry has averaged 9.5% growth over the last 5 years along with a growing economy, new government policies and expanding middle class, this has led to massive investments in the industry,” he averred.
According to Mr. Ingo Herbert, German Consul General in Lagos, “Every day in the papers we read about the difficult situation in Nigeria. So it is important to diversify Nigeria's economy. We have to create growth, more production and more investments.”
On her part, Mrs Olubunmi Adekoje, Director General, Federation of Construction Industry Nigeria (FOCI) said: “With over 60 years of construction experience in Nigeria, FOCI has become a reference point for sustained excellence in the construction industry.
“There are challenges for us right now in Nigeria for the construction industry – but there is also a chance for us. It is a chance to look the other way,” she noted.
Engr. Otis Anyaeji, President, Nigerian Society of Engineers opined that the burden of providing adequate and reliable infrastructure lies on the shoulder of the professionals in the built environment and, “we cannot portend to shy away from this very important calling.”
•Photo shows (2nd right) National President, Nigerian Institute of Building, Tijani Shu’aib.
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