Operators query dominance of construction sector by foreign firms
Govt pledges to reduce over dependence on public funds for projects
Operators in the built and road sector of the economy yesterday condemned the control of about 90 per cent of the nation’s construction industry by a few large expatriate firms.
Concerned about this, they are teaming up with the Federal Government to change the tide.A major initiative in this regard is the planned launch of a vocational education scheme to prepare artisans and other skilled workers for employment in the sector.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who spoke at an international construction industry summit organized by Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) in Abuja, stated government’s resolve to decrease over-dependence on public finance for the execution of road projects in the country. This, he said, would be achieved by facilitating participation of private sector, multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies on road development projects.
Fashola said, “Nigeria being the largest population in Africa with an increasing demand of road transport network has a road sector that accounts for about 90% of all freight and passenger movements in the country due to inadequacy of other modes of transportation. Indeed, the country has long suffered from a sub-optimal road network where only about 28, 980km out of the 193, 200km, total length of roads are paved.”
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, assured that the APC’s Federal Government will help release the latent creative energy among Nigerians such that they can develop indigenous capacity that will enable professionals in our country give their best in the important task of nation building.
Director General of NBBRR, Prof Danladi Matawal, said the summit was meant to chart a way forward in the built and road sector of the economy.
Matawal revealed plans to begin the Training Academy for Artisans and Craftsmen as well as transforming the Institute into a Centre of excellence in collaboration with international organizations.
The NBBRR boss also lamented the dominance of the construction industry by 90 percent, hinting at efforts to ensure that indigenous companies control at least 60 per cent of the industry. “Unfortunately, the Nigerian construction industry is dominated by a few large expatriate firms which account for the rest of the work.
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