When Construction Kaiser Limited (CKL), a wholly indigenous construction company in Nigeria, opened for business 30 years ago, the vision was to change the narrative in an industry that was dominated at that time by expatriate firms and professionals.
The determination, according to its founder, was to embark on local content development that would impact today towards a sustainable future of both the industry and Nigeria as an emerging economy.
“I had identified an opportunity in the Nigerian construction industry, and I was determined to take it,” Igbuan Okaisabor, CEO, Construction Kaiser Limited, recalled in his speech at the 30th anniversary celebration of the company in Lagos recently.
In the course of these 30 years, Okaisabor noted, CKL has made progress, pointing out however that the progress they have made in 30 years could have been achieved in 10 years. That, he said, was because “we have to deal with the attitude of ‘settling for anything’ and not striving for excellence which is deeply rooted in our Nigerian culture.”
With quality, integrity, and empowerment as their core values, the company has forged ahead, leading to a strategic feat in delivering projects of the highest quality over the 30-year period. “We believe that each project is a pitch for the next one. We have made significant investments in personnel development and equipment,” he revealed.
This explains why the company comes off easily as a frontline player in the construction sector, undertaking residential, commercial, and industrial engineering projects across various geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Okaisabor described the 30 years anniversary as a milestone that serves as a testament to their unwavering vision of being an innovative, solution-driven, and value-creating construction service provider, actively contributing to the development of the Nigerian environment.
The significant occasion was marked with a momentous graduation ceremony for the first batch of its Graduate Entrepreneurial Scheme—an an initiative operated under the auspices of the Kaiser Foundation for Social Development.
Okaisabor explained that the initiative was, more than anything else, a testimony of how CKL impacts today for sustainable future as it empowers aspiring entrepreneurs in the construction industry through comprehensive training and mentorship programmes.
The graduates, who completed a nine-month internship at CKL, received entrepreneurship training at the prestigious Lagos Business School, and have been equipped with the skills and knowledge to make meaningful contributions to Nigeria’s construction landscape.
This initiative also underscores CKL’s commitment to local content development which, the CEO explained, goes beyond project execution. “It encompasses the nurturing of ethical standards and fostering a supportive work environment. This commitment has not only advanced the construction industry, but also contributed to indigenous companies’ growth,” he added.
“We take pride in upholding values such as quality, integrity, team spirit, empathy, and work-life balance. These principles have consistently propelled us as an organisation to deliver projects of the highest standard over the past three decades,” he said.
Okaisabor recalled how the company started from a humble beginning with a five-man team, but has now grown into a national force, employing over 150 skilled professionals and delivering projects renowned for their quality.
Ayuli Jemide, a member of the board of directors, who was present at the event , noted that the company’s enduring success served as a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, making a statement that Nigerian firms could serve as beacons of ethical standards and lead the way in the construction sector.
Looking ahead, Okaisabor assured that CKL remained steadfast in its mission to create value and inspire more Nigerians to actively participate in nation-building and infrastructure development. “As we enter our fourth decade, we envision a future where local content development thrives, driving the progress of Nigeria’s construction industry,” he said.