The Minister of Science and Technology Dr.Ogbonnaya Onu has challenged the Association of Indigenous Construction Contractors of Nigeria to strive to bolster their skills and competitiveness’ to enable them bid and compete for job in other parts of the world.
Dr. Onu gave the charge when the Association paid him a courtesy visit at his office, midweek in Abuja to seek for patronage and referral in the award of contract in the Ministries.
Dr. Onu called on them to take up the challenge in the national interest, assuring that the Ministry will support and encourage all Nigerian professionals in the award of contracts in infrastructural development sector.
Dr. Onu said that the Executive Order 5 will bring a silent revolution that will enable Nigerian firms to compete for jobs in America in the next 15 years, adding that the Ministry is taking the lead in making sure that the country moves in a new direction of a knowledge-based economy.
He said that an Inter-ministerial committee which comprises the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Environment, Transport and Science and Technology have been set up to work out modalities for the implementation of the Executive Order.5.
Earlier, the National President of the Association, Otunba Lekan-Osifeso said that the association came to solicit for the acceptance of the Association Certificate as the document by which any indigenous Contractor must be identified and also ask for a Resident Desk Officer of the Association in the Ministry.
According to Otunba Osifeso “with an increase in participation of Indigenous companies by up to 30%, capital flight cases will drop by 60% because up to 40% of the wealth generated percolates the economy and construction related employment will grow by up to 25% annually”. He added that “It will impact on our gross domestic product and yield better returns for Government’s investment on the long run, we want to build a formidable indigenous construction industry that is capable of attracting funding from financial institutions locally and internationally based on reputation and credibility, thus enhancing our participation in PPPs and contractor finance projects”.
He said that it is high time to build Nigerian Construction empire that would be a cynosure of eyes worldwide, noting that “Nigeria can only succeed if we start encouraging our own engineers, graduates and contractors”.
Head, Press and Public Relations Unit
3rd July, 2018