‘Local content will reduce fatalities, create jobs’
With 50 per cent of fatalities on construction sites attributed to weak scaffolding, wrong formwork placement and poor training, experts in the construction industry said inclusiveness and increase in local content would significantly reduce the trend.
They stressed that local content would also groom entrepreneurs, creates employment opportunities in construction and other sectors of the economy.
The experts, who spoke at the 25th anniversary celebration of Construction Kaiser Limited (CKL), an indigenous construction firm in Lagos, with the theme, “breaking new grounds”, noted that local content is attainable if indigenes are encouraged to have a substantial share and opportunity in the management and ownership of companies in the nation’s construction industry.
They include; a former President of Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mr. Francis Adetola, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CKL, Mr. Igbuan Okaisabor, Chairman Board of Trustees, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okoaru, Founder and Managing Director, Comprehensive Project Management Services Limited (CPMS), Bayo Adeola.
Expounding on the theme, “Breaking New Grounds”, Okaisabor said it has become very necessary that more Nigerians establish and grow construction companies that could work with high standards and at lower price which would ultimately eliminate the overheads associated with keeping expatriates in the country.
According to him, encouraging local content in the industry would encourage efficiency and healthy competition; improve safety and quality management system; increase collaboration and inclusiveness; grow sustainability and help solve socio-economic issues.
“It would further assist in foreign exchange savings, which in turn would strengthen the Naira with the participation of improved indigenous workers in the industry”.
He said the company established in 1993 out of the sheer determination to take over from expatriates’ monopoly in the construction space has been at the forefront of providing world-class construction services in Nigeria.
“Collaboration is the way to go. We understand that it would create assess to knowledge and people, effectiveness, efficiency, innovation, human resource development, long term stability, impact, reputation and credibility.
“Introducing inclusiveness is important because we believe that sustainability can only occur when there is inclusiveness. The ability to engage individuals, irrespective of gender, tribe or religion in the society in a common goal”, he added.
On her part, Okoaru identified lack of trust for indigenous firms and bad business environment/policies as major threatening forces against indigenous firms.
She commended the firm for its achievements and urged them to remain focused, grow partnerships and embrace latest innovations in the industry.
“Believe in yourself and improve quality service through people with the right attitude, passion and skills. Manage your success and keep pushing f
or good standards. Understand your terrain while paying attention to conquering beyond the geographical boundaries of Nigeria”, she added.