The newly installed President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Bldr. Sir. Alderton Ewa Ewa says his team will work with stakeholders to deploy requisite expertise needed to deliver the economic promises of the building profession to Nigerians, adding that the construction industry has all it takes to create ample job opportunities. According to him, the new leadership will usher in a progressive era that will make all professional builders proud.
Alderton, who gave the assurance while delivering his inaugural address at a ceremony where he was installed the 22nd President of the Institute in Abuja, on Thursday, observed that the NIOB has made tremendous strides from its genesis as a body conceived by Nigerian Members of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) London, UK, in 1967. He said it achieved autonomous status in 1970 as Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB). ‘From a mere trickle number of membership at her inception to well over 13,000 membership made up of Fellows, Corporate, Graduates, Affiliates, Associates, Licentiates, Technicians, Students and Artisans grade serving in various spheres of life within Nigeria and other parts of the world.’
While saying that building as a professional field of study is being offered by about 33 Universities and 56 polytechnics in Nigeria with full accreditation, he commended the forerunners who birthed the vision of NIOB and the past presidents of the institute whom he said, were privileged to lead its affairs.
‘I will join hands with all well-meaning stakeholders to build on the solid foundation of my predecessors, to create and bequeath an institute that is better by all standard, flexible and adaptable to the needs of its members, clienteles, recognized and respected locally and internationally,’ he stated.
Discussing set goals of his administration, the newly installed president said his team prioritized the completion and utilization of the NIOB Research and Skill Development Centre, Lugbe, Abuja, which was conceived in 2021 as a one-stop address for building materials research solutions as well as Centre of Building excellence for construction skill development.
According to him, it is obvious that the Institute still has a long way to go in the quest to realize the noble dream and derive advantages from them.
He assured that the incumbent executive council will ‘assiduously and radically pursue every legitimately available avenue to see to the completion and gainful utilization of the project,’ adding that upon completion, the edifice will add value to the aesthetics and skill development potentials of the Nation’s Capital City besides satisfying the needs of the built environment and enriching our value proposition.
Discussing set goals in the area of human resource development, the president said: ‘It is a well acknowledged that the measure of wealth and status of development of any nation hinges on the quality and quantity of its human resources development and capacities. We hope to continue the process of widening the horizons of human resources development of professional builders, potential builders, artisans and craftsmen in the built industry in order to maximize effective and efficient delivery of services.
This he said the institute will achieve by ensuring mandatory Continuous Professional Training Programmes, Workshop and Seminar to be organized and conducted at the National, Zonal and State levels for all registered and certified Builders. He said the aim is to sharpen knowledge and keep members abreast of new trends and international best standard practices, use of cutting edge technology in Building Profession as well as upscale their knowledge and experiences in preparation of Builders’ Documents as a prelude to its actual implementation of same in the Built environment given the enabling laws and regulations.
He said at tertiary education levels where building is offered as a course of study, NIOB will collaborate with appropriate institutions and bodies to ventilate areas of weaknesses in the curriculum and advocate and bring about necessary reviews and updates to bring it in tandem with current trends and needs of our Nation.
The president exposed that there is need to aggressively pursue the training, assessment and certification of needed artisans and craftsmen in the built environment.
Expressing a major concern, Ewa Ewa said: ‘Its saddening and it does not resonate well that Nigeria, a nation well-endowed in all the fields of human resources spends whopping billions of Naira to import artisans and craftsmen from neighboring West African countries of Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cameroon,” adding that this shortfall is despite the acknowledgement and efforts put into addressing the challenges of inadequacy of artisans/Craftsmen in Nigeria by the past administrations, the problem still persists.
‘As a way of filling the huge gap in this cadre of our nation’s manpower needs, and in order to keep Nigeria’s jobs for Nigerian especially with the Renewed Hope Agenda where the Federal Government plans to develop modern cities in the six Geo-political zones of the Country, to stem the abysmal drain on our scarce foreign exchange, NIOB would not rest on our oars until this endemic challenge is overcome.’
‘We hope to sustain the momentum by building on previous foundations laid by our predecessors. We shall synergize and collaborate with government and stakeholders within and outside the Built Environment to create more skill training centres, effectively train and retrain not only artisans and craftsmen but also our Assessors in the needed skill competencies to enhance their marketability within and outside Nigeria.’
‘Artisanal and Craftsmen training shall harp not only on competencies but emphasis will be placed on ethical values such as dignity in Labour, pride of earning a living legitimately through their skills, and avoidance of sharp-practices.’
While saying that ‘there is compelling need to patronize professional Builders in building production in all the nooks and crannies in Nigeria as a solution to challenges plaguing sustainable building production,’ he noted that there is need to sensitize the public on the dangers of engaging quacks.
According to the NIOB President, ‘research statistics have greatly vindicated Builders from involvement in the construction of any of the collapsed buildings in Nigeria,’ adding that Professional Builders are capable of meeting the expectations of Nigerians in constant and successful delivery of quality, affordable, safe and durable buildings.
He said the current Executive Council will emphasize the institutionalization of mechanisms that will ensure that building production on sites are managed by the professional builders. This, he said will add sanity, correct the mistakes of the past, prevent further construction of distressed and substandard buildings by quacks in various parts of the country.
Ewa Ewa further stated that ‘the advocacy and awareness campaign will be compendious, involving stakeholders in the built industry, government at all levels, manufacturers of building construction inputs, Quality Control and Regulating Agencies and the media.
He said the slogan for the awareness campaign will be, “Do your part, build right, use the right professional for building construction, engage Registered Builders.”