Nigeria: Experts Seek Commitment to Revamp Construction Industry

Stakeholders in the contruction sector have called for government commitment in revamping the sector from the throes of economic downturns.The stakeholders warned that if government policies were not tilted to favour construction sector, which is a major determinant of development, the nation was going to slip back into recession.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Property and Environment Writers Association of Nigeria (PEWAN), event themed: “Economic Recession: the Role of Construction Sector in Post Recession Nigeria”, held at the LCCI, Hall Agidingbi, Ikeja, first Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Kunle Awobodu identified lack of government commitment as factor militating against growth of the building construction industry in Nigeria.

He regretted that the government is giving more support to foreign construction operators than the local ones, foreigners still dominate the Nigerian economy, while their Nigerian counterparts are being neglected.

Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Meckson Okoro, extolled the noble contributions of the association to the development of construction industry.Okoro, the founding Partner/Consultant, M.I.Okoro and Associates, also stressed that foreign construction firms who were given most contracts usually repatriated all their funds back to their countries, adding that the capital flight was injurious to the nation’s economy.

The President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr Otis Anyaeji, lamentable that projects have become ‘processes’ because of lack of adherence to completion dates.

Anyaeji , who was represented by the Ikeja Branch Chairman of the Society, Mr Akintayo Akintola said that conditions for award of contacts were usually deliberately made difficult to eliminate local engineers, which makes a nonsense of the Local Content Law to have the participation of indigenous engineers.

Also the President , Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mrs. Mercy Torkwase Iyortyer, identified the attitude of the political class as the cause of economic recession and other challenges faced by the country.

Mrs Iyortyer, who was represented by the Secretary, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Mr Jide Oke, said since infrastructure is very critical to construction , Nigeria must deal with the issue of power.

She stressed that the infrastructure deficit in the nation was huge, adding that the private sector must drive the sector to speed up development.In his submission, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, the Ooni of Ife, expressed optimism that the country will definitely gets it right as long as the citizens join hands with government in its policies.

Ooni, who was represented at the event by His Royal Highness, Oba Adebanjo Adedinni Asoya of Isoya, Ife and his counterpart, Oba Adetokunbo Anosunge, Elejesi of Ife Kingdom, assured the organiser of the event his commitment to the course of construction industry, especially, infrastructure provision and housing delivery.

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