Nigeria: Stimulate Economy Through Housing, Capital Projects, Experts Tell Govt
Some operators in the building construction sector have called on the Federal Government to stimulate the economy by embarking on more capital projects.
They said in Lagos on Tuesday that the dividends of democracy had not been felt in the industry because of the slow pace of construction activities across the country.
The experts advised the government at all levels to focus more on development of capital projects as a way of stimulating the economy.
According to them, it is through capital project developments that money can start coming into the country, which will revive the economy from the effects of recession.
Mr Chucks Omeife, a former President, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), stressed the need for the Federal Government to re-examine the way multinational construction companies are currently being managed.
Omeife said that government should come up with policy that would influence the ownership structure of multinational construction firms in Nigeria.
According to him, the few construction activities in the country are being handled by multinational construction companies.
“Nigeria should benefit from the experience of other countries.
“For instance, the South Korean Government enacted a law known as Engineering Services Law (ESPL), which compels registered engineering firms in South Korea to have at least one South Korean Professional engineer.
“Such law can be enacted in Nigeria. And until the government starts empowering the local contractors and professionals by awarding contracts to them, the Nigeria construction sector may not record significant growth,” Omeife said.
Prof. Timothy Nubi of University of Lagos said that construction sector had the potential to revive and grow the Nigerian economy.
Nubi, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, UNILAG, said that construction activities would provide more job opportunities to large number of people at a time, stressing that efforts should be made toward embarking on more housing and infrastructure projects.
“Though, housing and infrastructure projects are capital-intensive, the government must not wait until the economy becomes very financially buoyant to embark on them.
“Let the government take the bull by the horns by investing in infrastructure/housing projects because when construction works are going on, a lot of people will be gainfully engaged,” he said.
Mr Olayemi Shonubi, Vice President, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), suggested that the money recovered from corruption should be ploughed to the economy to stimulate economic activities.
Shonubi said that the government needed to continually invest in the economy, particularly in capital projects.
He said the government must stabilise the exchange market to ensure a sustainable exchange rate, saying “sustainable exchange rates will stimulate investment and economic activities.
“It will also aid the diversification of the economy in terms of boosting the competitiveness of our local products,” Shonubi said.