Due to failure to generate the required manpower for the built environment, Nigeria is losing over N500 billion annually as capital flight by engaging services of artisans from neighbouring West African countries of Togo, Ghana and Benin Republic, New Telegraph has learnt.
President, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr. Ugochukwu Chime, said this at the First Emeritus Prof. John Umeh Annual Lecture of the Faculty of Environment Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus.
Consequently, he said the Federal Government in collaboration with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) through the Social Investment Programme, N-Power has trained 20,000 artisans in the built sector to overturn the trend.
The training, he explained, was put in place by the government in a bid to create jobs and also reduce capital flight.
Speaking on “Collaboration and Synergy in Real Estate Development Practice: The way forward,” Chime said that REDAN was poised to improve the skillset of all parties involved in the real estate value chain through massive advocacy, reorientation and training of stakeholders especially developers and artisans.
He hinted that the association was collaborating with other critical stakeholders to address the nation’s housing needs, listing high cost of securing and registering land title; inadequate access to finance, slow administrative procedures and high cost of land as major factors affecting housing development in the country.
Chime promised to ensure that products for use in the real estate construction met the required standard and certification despite the assertion that Nigeria has a low ownership rate compared to such countries as Indonesia, Kenya and South Africa.
He urged the government to provide housing for the citizenry within the ambit of available resources.
Giving update on the nationwide artisans training, Director General, C-STEmp Construction Skills Training and Empowerment Project Limited, Mr. Anthony Okwa, in a chat with this newspaper recently, said that 6,000 artisans have benefited directly from the scheme, while it has facilitated over 24,000 people.
Through recent support from N-Power Build Programme involving the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), he said more school leavers have been encouraged to participate in the training.
“As a deliberate policy, and with the encouragement of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), C-STEmp is supporting other training providers across the country and will soon extend its reach through franchisees interested in adopting our model which has been acclaimed internationally,” he said.
“The Npower job creation program of the Buhari administration is being delivered in about 400 centers across the country under the auspices of CORBON with our active support.”
Okwa hinted that artisans’ awards have been instituted with the aim to change attitude and disposition of beneficiaries and current low regard for artisans by giving them due recognition and rewarding excellence.
“In all spheres of human endeavor, Nigerians have been known to excel, and with the training gaining international attention, we are beginning to receive enquiries for supply of artisans to employers from outside the country,” he said.
On the casualty rate amongst industry stakeholders, Chime attributed it to the undefined and uncharted transaction pathway in the industry.
“Rarely can a stakeholder estimate the transaction parties; cost and time required to conclude any project in Nigeria. This has led to cost overruns; abandoned projects; loss of livelihood for off takers and so on,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, real estate sector’s growth is minimal, as the report by NBS showed that the construction sector grew by 3.18 per cent in Q1, 2019 from 2.05 per cent in Q4 of 2018 and 0.54 per cent in Q3 of 2018.
Specifically, it said the construction sector accounted for 4.09 per cent of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Q1, 2019, higher than its contribution of 4.04 per cent in same quarter of 2018 and 3.48 per cent contribution recorded in preceding year.
According to the latest NBS report, construction sector grew by 66.99 per cent in nominal term, year-on-year, in Q1 of 2019, an increase of 58.02 per cent points compared to the rate recorded in the same quarter in 2018.
“This was also higher when compared to the rate recorded in the preceding quarter. Quarter on quarter basis, nominal growth was recorded at 10.62 per cent,” the NBS report said.
Besides, the study stated that the sector contributed 6.17 per cent to nominal GDP in Q1 2019, higher than 4.13 per cent contribution a year earlier, and 5.03 per cent contributed in Q4 of 2018.
“Real growth rate of the construction sector in Q1 2019 stood at 3.18 per cent (YoY), or 4.71 per cent points higher than the rate recorded a year earlier,” the report stated. “Relative to the preceding quarter, there was an increase of 1.13 per cent points. Quarter on quarter, the sector grew by 1.36 per cent in real terms.”
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