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Nigeria Records Annual Decline in Skilled Construction Workers



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  • Nigeria Records Annual Decline in Skilled Construction Workers

The Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, has said the stock of competent skilled construction workers is rapidly dwindling, with a 15 per cent annual decline of artisans in the construction sector.

He stated that jobs hitherto meant for Nigerians were gradually being taken by people from other West African countries, leaving the indigenous artisans without work and unable to take on jobs.

Pitan said, “There is a need for the creation and implementation of a deliberate and organised effort to improve the sector. Such effort will, however, commence from identifying and dealing with the different challenges that the sector faces. Among these challenges include shortage of adequately skilled workers, high cost of materials, expensive access to land and limited credible sponsors on large-scale projects.

“For the shortage of skilled workers, I believe we can all agree that one of the major problems facing the construction sector in Nigeria relates to the weak stock of skilled construction workers in the country.”

Pitan spoke at the 10th Distinguished Lecture Series of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Lagos Chapter, where he was represented by his Technical Adviser and Deputy General Manager, SME (South), BoI, Ayo Bajomo.

According to him, a key strategy to address the challenge and thereby reposition the construction sector to growth is the enhancement of domestic construction skills through educational institutions placing emphasis on providing students with practical training to supplement their theoretical knowledge.

Additionally, he stated that the Federal Government should increase its budgetary allocation to Science, Technology, Engineering and Management courses that would drive the provision of qualitative knowledge to students in the country.

The BoI boss, who spoke on ‘Repositioning the Nigerian industries for economic growth and development: Construction sector viewpoint’, noted that the country had largely depended on crude oil to run the economy rather than developing secondary production activities comprising manufacturing and building and construction, which had higher value and potential for employment generation, broadening the productive base of the economy, and generating sustainable foreign exchange earnings.

He said the government, through the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, had identified six priority sectors, including construction, to ensure sustainable growth and development within the current Nigerian narrative.

Pitan added, “This identification is based upon the premise of the importance that infrastructure development and housing have on driving economic activities in Nigeria. The construction sector is very crucial in any nation’s social and economic development. Apart from its potential with respect to employment generation, the various activities undertaken in the sector are very germane to foster effective sectorial linkages as well as sustainable development.

“Activities performed within the sector focus on infrastructural development, industrial development, construction of institutional buildings, and provision of housing for citizens. The vital role played by the construction sector cannot be overemphasized. The sector employs about 25 per cent of the nation’s workforce, making it the highest employer of labour after agriculture.

“According to the latest reports from the National Bureau of Statistics, the sector contributes about four per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and produces approximately 70 per cent of the nation’s fixed capital formation. The sector is also predicted to, in the near future, overtake oil and gas to become the third largest contributor to the GDP after trade and agriculture.”

Pitan stated that despite the sector’s importance to the economy, it had, however, been noted that its contribution to the GDP had in recent times declined due to the recent economic recession the country faced.

“For the fact that there is a strong connection between a well-developed construction sector, poverty reduction and economic development, repositioning the construction sector to one of growth and development is one that is of the utmost importance,” he said.

The Chairman, NIQS Lagos Chapter, Mr Dele Mafimidiwo, said the objective of the Distinguished Lecture Series was to discuss issues that were of great importance to the country in general and the construction industry in particular.

He noted that the first edition of the programme was held in 2009 with the theme, ‘Global financial crisis and Nigerian economy: The real sector perspective’, and since then, eight others had been held with varying themes.

Mafimidiwo stated, “The topical issue in Nigeria is how to restructure the present arrangement for optimal performance. Since we are not a political group, we cannot gather to discuss restructuring of Nigeria. However, we have critically examined Nigerian industries, especially the construction sector, and discovered that there is a need to reposition the sector, which is synonymous with restructuring.

“Nigeria’s industries have not been performing optimally over the years with resultant effect of little contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. The poor contribution of the industries to the GDP is part of what resulted in the economic recession in the last two years.”

Mafimidiwo added that even though the statistics recently released by the NBS indicated that Nigeria had come out of economic recession, the negative impact of the recession on economic growth and development in general and the industries in particular was enormous.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director




Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations




FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm




Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

JR Firms, an agribusiness firm with headquarters in Nigeria, has announced partnership with Sanit Wing Rwanda through the acquisition of 11 per cent stake in the company.

The CEO of the company, Mr Rotimi Olawale, explained in a statement that the partnership was in furtherance of its goals to ensure food security, create decent jobs and raise the next generation of agrarian leaders in Africa.

The stake was acquired through Green Agribusiness Fund, an initiative of JR Farms designed to invest in youth-led agribusinesses across Africa.

Sanit Wing Rwanda is an agro-processing company that processes avocado oil and cosmetics that are natural, quality, affordable, reliable and viable.

The vision of the company is to become the leading producers of best quality avocado and avocado by-products in Africa by creating value across the avocado value chain.

With focus on bringing together over 20,000 professional Avocado farmers on board and planting of three million avocado trees by 2025 through contract farming, the company currently works with One Acre Fund in supply of avocado to its processing facility.

The products of the company which include avocado oil, skin care (SANTAVO), hair cream and soap are being sold locally and exported to regional market in Kenya.

With the new partnership with JR Farms- the products of the company will enjoy more access to markets focusing on Africa and the European Union by leveraging on partnerships and trade windows available.

Aside funding, the partnership comes with project support in areas of market exposure, capacity building, exposure and other thematic support to grow the business over the next four years.

JR Farms has agribusiness operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, United States and Zambia respectively.

In Nigeria, the company deals in cassava value chain processing cassava to national staple “garri” which is consumed by over 80 million Nigerians on daily basis, while in Rwanda, it works in the coffee value chain with over 4,000 coffee farmers spread across the East Central African country.

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