The Nigerian Institute of Building, Lagos Chapter, has said that the expatriate quota for building professionals should be strictly enforced by the Federal Government as laid down by the law.

According to the communiqué issued at the end of a two-day conference and Annual General Meeting by the institute, this will maximise employment opportunities for professional builders in the country.

The conference, which had as its theme: ‘Foreign professionals and artisans/craftsmen in the construction industry: Its Implication on the nation’s economy’, frowned on the influx of poorly trained artisans into the country and called for their expulsion.

Discussants comprising the President, Federation of Construction Industry, Mr. Solomon Ogunbusola; human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana; a builder, Mr. Siraj Bokinni; and Executive Director, Shelterwatch Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, Mr. Segun Olutade, noted that although the country had the largest number of construction companies in Africa, the problem of generational gap still existed in the industry, adding that there was a need to bridge the gap through training.

“The institute wants the National Assembly to create the enabling environment for professional builders by passing the bill of the National Building Code into law, while the Federal Government should involve registered professional builders in the Building Procurement Council and encourage the production of building construction tools in the country,” the communiqué read in part.

Participants at the conference also advocated the adoption of electronic approval of building processes and strict compliance with the scheme of service for professional builders in any project development process.

The communiqué also recommended that professional builders needed to forge a close working relationship with the government in enforcing existing laws governing professional practice and continuous training as well as putting their names on project development signage.

“We recommend that the NIOB should be empowered to sanction expatriates and make arrangements for the introduction of Builders’ Practice Manual. There should also be a mandatory visitation of registered professional builders to collapsed building sites,” it added.

According to the communiqué, the conference also looked at the plight of artisans and recommended that they should be registered with the NIOB; introduction of log book for artisans; creation of more practical training for them; encouragement of core field of specialisation amongst artisans; and job security for registered artisans.

It also highlighted the need for the institute, in conjunction with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria, to be revamped to salvage the profession.

“The CORBON is saddled with the responsibility of determining who a builder is, hence, the need to identify builder’s status for foreigners who are already registered as professionals in their countries of origin,” the communiqué stated.

The Chairman, Lagos Chapter, NIOB, Mrs. Adenike Said, said the chapter would reach out to government agencies and parastatals as well as corporate bodies for collaboration on issues relating to ways to improve the building sector.

“Builders should expect more social media interactions with their colleagues through the NIOB online platforms, profound technical sessions with more technological applications and improvement on what my predecessors have laid down,” she noted.

Source: PUNCH NEWSPAPER

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