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Construction Experts Canvass Govt’s Support for Industry Growth



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  • Construction Experts Canvass Govt’s Support for Industry Growth

Experts in the built environment have called for government’s support to help boost growth in the construction industry.

The 1st Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Building, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, said lack of government commitment was a major factor working against the growth of the building construction industry in the country.

Awobodu spoke at the 2017 annual lecture of the Property and Environment Writers’ Association of Nigeria in Lagos, with the theme, ‘The role of the construction sector in post-recession Nigeria’.

He said, “The Nigerian government gives more support to foreign construction operators than the local ones. Infrastructure is a major determinant of development and if government policies are not tilted to favour construction, which is a determinant of development, the nation is going to slip back into recession.

“Many nations’ development is tied to construction; this industry is the determinant of development in any nation. Government should take investments in the construction industry serious; recession can re-occur due to our human errors; and until the citizens and government learn to make use of the local construction operators, the industry may not record significant growth.”

The Founding Partner, M. I. Okoro and Associates, Dr. Meckson Okoro, said foreign construction firms being given most of the contracts in the nation ended up repatriating all the profits back to their home countries.

According to Okoro, this has resulted in capital flight, which he described as injurious to the nation’s economy.

The President, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Mr. Otis Anyaeji, noted that most projects in the country had become mere processes because of lack of adherence to completion dates.

Anyaeji, who was represented by the Ikeja Branch Chairman of the NSE, Mr. Akintayo Akintola, said the conditions for the award of contacts were usually deliberately made difficult in order to eliminate local professionals.

According to him, this makes the local content law designed to encourage the participation of indigenous engineers and other professionals irrelevant.

The President, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Mrs. Mercy Iyortyer, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Mr. Jide Oke, noted that the attitude of the political class was the cause of the economic recession and other challenges being faced by the country.

“Infrastructure is very critical to construction and as we come out of recession, we must deal with the issue of power. Infrastructure deficit in the nation is huge, and the private sector must drive the industry to speed up development. Construction is very important, it is the barometer to measure the growth of any nation,” she said.

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Inflation and Forex Mismanagement Drive Petrol Truck Prices from N7M to N25M



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The Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in the Satellite Depot branch, Akin Akinrinade, has raised an alarm over the rising cost of petrol trucks in Nigeria.

According to Akinrinade, the cost of a petrol truck has surged from N7 million in May to an astonishing N25 million at present, attributed to inflation induced by poorly managed foreign exchange rates.

Akinrinade pointed out that the forex mismanagement has significantly impacted the landing cost of premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, consequently leading to a surge in pump prices.

The unstable business environment, coupled with the astronomical rise in expenses, has created challenges for marketers in the downstream oil sector.

Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), highlighted in October 2023 that foreign exchange challenges have hindered private companies from importing petroleum products.

As a result, the NNPCL has become the exclusive importer of petrol.

The decision to limit private entities from importing fuel comes after President Bola Tinubu’s initiatives aimed at deregulating the fuel market.

Initially, the plan was to allow private companies to import fuel starting June 2023, aligning with efforts to balance the market after removing petrol subsidies.

The ripple effects of the soaring petrol costs are already evident, with commercial transporters increasing fares, and private car owners seeking fuel-saving alternatives.

As Christmas approaches, the surge in demand for interstate travel is expected to further elevate costs, posing financial challenges for many Nigerians amidst stagnant income levels.

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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption




The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.

The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.

This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.

Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.

The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.

Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.

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Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion



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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.

Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.

During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.

He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.

Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.

The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.

Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.

The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.

The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.

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