The Building and Construction Skilled Artisans Association of Nigeria has decried the low patronage of indigenous artisans’ services, ascribing it to the influx of foreign artisans into the country.
The association’s President, Alhaji Muhammad Fasasi, said the federal and state governments, corporate organisations and individuals should employ more of indigenous artisans instead of foreign artisans to work on construction projects in the country.
Fasasi told newsmen that there was an influx of artisans from Africa and Asia into the construction industry in the country.
He said that this had been responsible for the little or no demand for the services of local artisans.
“The association is training its members to meet the international standard for effective service delivery. With the kind of orientation and training we are giving to BACSAAN members now, none will deliver substandard service,”he said.
The President, Nigerian Institute of Building, Mr Kenneth Nduka, said the development was due to the laziness of many Nigerian artisans.
Nduka tasked them to improve their skills to justify their clamour for patronage, adding that most Nigerian artisans lacked the requisite knowledge and skills for efficient service delivery like the foreign artisans.
According to the NIOB president, a greater percentage of the causes of building collapse in Nigeria can be traced to the incompetence of indigenous artisans.
“Today, most buildings in Nigeria have fundamental faults because our artisans are either half-baked or not baked at all. Nigeria cannot grow until we begin to utilise the services of people who are trained and properly skilled in technical things,’’ Nduka said.
A former Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos Chapter, Mr Samuel Ukpong, also decried the poor remuneration of the local artisans.
While he noted that good work must be well paid for, he described poor remuneration as one of the key factors affecting their performance.
He was particularly disturbed by the influx of foreign artisans from Asia and the neighbouring West African countries into the country to take up jobs that should have been done by indigenous artisans.
According to him, over 5,000 artisans from one of the Asian countries are working in Nigeria.
“In a country with several millions of unemployed youths, for no reason must we allow or patronise services of foreigners. If the indigenous artisans lack the skills, let them undergo the appropriate training to upgrade their knowledge. Nigeria cannot continue to depend on foreign technology in the construction industry,’’ he said.
He emphasised the need for the establishment of a National Construction Industry Board to regulate the sector and ensure proper training of Nigerians to work on construction sites.