Develop technologies using local content to boost local economy, Minister urges stakeholders


By Olasunkanmi Onifade
Abuja, April 27, 2021 The Minister of State Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi, has urged stakeholders in the construction industry to develop technologies that would address housing and infrastructural deficiencies using local available resources.

Abdullahi said this at the 10th Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBBRI) international conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

The conference had the theme: “Circular Economy in the Built Environment for Enhanced Performance of the Nigerian Construction Industry.”

He said the locally available resources should be able to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal’s target of providing affordable and decent housing for citizens.

“This will not just enhance the performance of the construction industry but will also boost the economy as one of the major ways of increasing government’s revenue.

“It will also improve the country’s Gross Domestic Product through research and development.

“The aim should be at cost reduction, zero waste and income generation that would eventually translate to improved standard of living of our citizens,” Abdullahi said.

He, however, said the platform should be used to sensitise professionals and experts in the building industry on the opportunities offered by the Presidential Executive Order 5 and to support its full implementation.

Abdullahi said the forum was apt and would expose stakeholders to the the latest trends in the building sector that could reduce the dangers associated with erosion, building collapse and persistent flooding.

The NBBRI’s Governing Board Chairman, William Wadni, said Nigerian construction industry had been identified as one of the fast growing sector around the world.

Wadni said for Nigeria to maintain an impressive performance, it was imperative for the industry to be well positioned to compete with its contemporaries globally.

He said that in line with its mandate, the institute had developed many innovations from intensive research work over the years, which made vital impacts on the building and road construction sectors.

The Nigerian construction industry is vibrant and characterised by continuous change, mainly due to the fluctuating dynamics of the economy which influences the socio-economic, physical and psychological needs of an average Nigerian.

“The industry, though fast growing with a lot of challenges, is yet to attain the desired level in spite of efforts and funds committed,” he said.

The President of Council of Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Engr. Ali Rabiu, who was represented by Engr. Felix Atume, said that the depleting resources in the construction industry need to be addressed.

A member of the Australian Institute of Building, Mr Olaide Makind, who spoke virtually, said the industry must rely on research through adequate grants and collaboration with other institutions of higher learning.