The emigration or ‘japa’ wave, which is sweeping across sectors in Nigeria, has caused a scarcity of skilled labour in the construction industry.
The industry is in dire need of good tilers, bricklayers, piling workers, plumbers, carpenters and others at artisanal level, while at professional level, there is a shortage of project managers, supervisors, and other technical officers.
This situation has been made worse by the current talent migration that has seen many skilled Nigerians leave the country.
Experts have described this loss of talent as an additional burden on an industry that is hugely challenged by foreign firms’ incursion and domination as well as high incidence of quackery often cited as a cause of building collapse and other failures.
A leading construction firm in Nigeria recently signed a partnership agreement with a foreign firm that specialises in project management to close the identified gaps in that aspect of construction.
Explaining the partnership, an official of the firm, who did not want to be named, said: “We are determined to ensure quality.
But we know that in our quest to deliver products in the way they were presented to customers at design stage, we begin to fail on time; when you fail on time, you incur more cost which can lead to products not being viable.”
The official added that it was the firm’s desire to deliver quality and, at the same time, achieve speed which was why they engaged the foreign firm.
Apart from this indigenous firm, there are others that are in search of professionals to meet their construction needs and these include private individuals who want quality buildings.