Impressed by the impact of the Nigerian Content Act on the oil and gas industry, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has called for the extension of the policy to the construction industry.
The NIA made the call during a visit to the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote at the Board’s headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
President of the Institute, Arc. Tonye Braide, who led the visit, commended the giant strides achieved by the NCDMB in the past seven years of implementing the Nigerian Content Act, noting that the Board has contributed significantly to transforming the nation’s economy. He noted that “the experience gained in this rather complex climate could be brought to bear on other sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
He noted that the Nigerian Institute of Architects has an operating contract with the NCDMB through the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF), which he described as a laudable effort to extend Local Content principles to the supporting value chain of the oil and gas industry.
According to him, the NIA is eager to expand Local Content to the construction industry and one of the strategies is by embarking on mass fabrication of building components, which will contribute significantly in reducing the country’s housing deficit and open avenues for the development of affordable housing for the people.
The NIA helmsman requested the Board’s support for the establishment of Light Industrial Parks for the manufacture of building components. He said “The Niger Delta region is a wide catchment for the fabrication of building materials and components with abundant gas reserves. This region can provide all the building components requirements for the Nigerian construction market and indeed all West African market.
“Light industrial park fired by gas should be developed in all states in the region and eventually all local government areas to create an economy of scale that will provide disposal prices at par with global benchmarks.”
Speaking further, Braide commended the Board for awarding the contract for the construction of its head office building project to an indigenous firm, Megastar Technical & Construction Co. Ltd. He stated that “this is a landmark structure symbolizing the capacity of Nigerian Content in design and construction and shall stand as a beacon of hope for all architects affirming that the Nigerian architectural product could be at par with the very best in the world.”