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Welding Institute Says Influx Of Foreigners Hinder Growth

Posted: Jul 28, 2016 at 6:54 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Francis Onoiribholo

Benin – The Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW) on Thursday said the influx of foreigners into the country was hindering the growth of the industry.

Chief Solomon Edebiri, President of NIW, stated this while addressing participants at the opening of a two-day training workshop with the theme, “Welding Education and Workforce Development,’’ at NIW headquarters Obayantor, near Benin.

Edebiri described welding engineering sub-sector as a veritable goldmine waiting to be tapped by the Federal Government for its economic growth.

He said, “Welding and its related practices are the heart beat of industrialisation and remain one of the highest employers of labour and the critical corner piece of the construction industry.

“Seven of every ten jobs in the oil and gas industry is closely welding related,’’ he said lamenting that “until recently, interest by Nigerians in the field of welding was extremely low despite huge unemployment statistics.

“The rate at which the Chinese and Indians are proliferating the construction industry is now so fearsome that interest in technical or vocational skill development seems to be on a downward spike.”

The NIW president said that the workshop was part of the institute’s avowed efforts at promoting capacity building in the sector.

“This workshop is not only relevant to Nigeria work environment but also to the rest of West Africa sub region as we begin to build technological synergy towards a harmonised workforce requirements,” he said.

He said the NIW had continued to collaborate with the government agencies and private sector to build capacity of welding and promoting the standardisation of welding practice in Nigeria.

He, however, opined that “as we continue to push the intent of Nigeria in localising the workforce in the construction and production sectors, certain critical factors need to be addressed.”

He listed some of the areas to include detailed review and guide implementation of International Institute of Welding guidelines on welding education and training.

“Work pack review for the establishment of a welding and closely related department in line with global trends, welding workforce development as road to closing gaps, harnessing opportunities and sustaining industrialisation by learning institutions,” he said.

Mr. Frank Ibe, Manager, Capacity Building Unit in the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, lauded NIW for the workshop.

He said the board would continue to work with the institute to ensure that available workforce “are competent and ensure that local content acts guidelines are strictly followed through effective monitoring.”

Participants are drawn from over 20 welding training institutes across the nation.