IMPORTATION OF WELDERS: NIGERIA LOSES TEN BILLION DOLLARS, ANNUALLY – NNAJI

IMPORTATION OF WELDERS: NIGERIA LOSES TEN BILLION DOLLARS, ANNUALLY – NNAJI

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Geoffery Nnaji has said that Nigeria loses an estimated $10 billion Dollars Annually in revenue by importing welders with international certification, displacing our local service suppliers, due to lack of acceptable accreditation, despite having over one million welders in the country.
The influx of foreign welding personnel particularly in the oil and gas industry, demands special attention, emphasizing that international certification has marginalized local welding professionals, depriving them of opportunities to contribute their expertise.
He noted that the recent approval and launching of the National Policy on Welding and Welding-Related Fields is a crucial step towards addressing the issue and promoting the utilization of Local Welding Personnel in critical sectors of the economy.
Chief Nnaji said this at the launching of National Policy on Welding and Welding related Fields and presentation of its strategy implementation Action Plan today, in Abuja.
According to the Minister, “the Policy Thrust of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Asiwaju Tinubu, the Federal Government will collaborate with the Nigerian Institute of Welding to establish six Centers of Welding Excellence in the six geopolitical zones.
The Centers will provide training and ISO Certification to Local Welders, empowering them to work locally and internationally, stressing that the initiative aim to promote local content utilization in alignment with the objectives of Presidential Executive Order No. 5, which seeks to boost local content in production and growth of the manufacturing industry which is necessary for industrialization of the country, Chief Nnaji said.
To this end, Nnaji revealed that the Ministry in determination to fight poverty in the country, has empowered many Nigerians with requisite skills through capacity building in the area of fabrication of machines, leather technology, solar energy, finishing of buildings, small hydro turbines for power generation, adding that it has also, equipped many entrepreneurs with home-grown technologies to help them grow their businesses for job creation.
He pointed out that the present global challenges has made it more crucial to enhance local content utilization and make Nigeria an export oriented country for finished products and welding personnel, noting that the policy will not only create employment opportunities but also contribute to the overall industrialization of the country.
The Minister stated that in line with present Administration’s readiness to support the development of Innovation, Science and Technology in the country, that all the stakeholders should take full advantage of the components of the National Policy on Welding and Welding-Related Fields, and its strategy Implementation Plan, as a step towards promoting the Local Production of goods and empowering Nigerian Welders to work locally and internationally.
Speaking, the Permanent Secretary, James Sule said that the policy will liberate the country economically by providing jobs and generate wealth for our teaming population through active sanitization and involvement of our people for self-reliance as well as provide for their livelihoods.
According to Sule the “Federal Government recognizes the importance of welding in the nation’s economic development, and therefore in 2014 the National Skills Qualification Framework in order to strengthen the sector. This was designed to create a career path for persons willing to acquire necessary skills in welding and its related fields, which can receive National Certification issued by the Nigeria Institute of Welding”.
The Permanent Secretary further explained that the welding practice all over the world is very critical as it directly impacts on the economy of any nation either developed or developing, as welding is the bedrock of every socio-economic development and sustainability, and then urged Nigerians to encourage and promote the welding practice to maximize the inherent potentials of this untapped sector of the Nigerian Economy.
Earlier, the Board Secretary Nigerian Institute of welding (NIW) Dr. Solomon Edebiri said that the policy when implemented will provide the right platform for the development of technology, SME, informal Sector, human capacity, infrastructure across all Sectors, equipment manufacturing and quality control improvement.
Edebiri emphasized that proper implementation of the policy will save Nigeria over 10billion United States Dollars lost annually due to capital flight arising from the importation of various cadres of Welding personnel into the country for some unjustifiable reasons, either for reason of equity funding on projects or in the name of technical partners’ interest.
He then, commended the Federal Government for the launch of the new order adding that the policy will re-order Nigeria’s path to National economic development, create the pathway for production of finished goods, have a Nation strong on SME and manufacturing.
Signed
Atuora Obed O.
DD (Press & Public Relations)
5th December, 2023