Nigeria Loses $10bn Annually From Importation Of Certified Welders


Nigeria is losing a whooping sum of $10billion every year from the importation of welders with International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certification into the country, minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji has said.

Nnaji said this at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), the Federal University of Technology, Minna ((FUTMINNA) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming Limited for academic and industry collaborations in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, a welder is paid about $150 a day and while Nigeria has over one million welders, none have international certification to enable them work in the oil and gas sectors.

The minister noted that the newly-commissioned Dangote Refinery employed about 11,000 welders but none is Nigerian, hence they lack ISO certification to secure the job, amounting to loss to the country.

Nnaji however said his ministry will partner with the Nigerian Welding Association to set up a hub in six geopolitical zones where welders would be trained and given ISO certification so that they will have the permit to work both within and outside Nigeria.

“We are lacking in manpower. We are lacking in skillful artisans, not just digital people. Because looking at the Dangote Refinery, it employed about 11,000 artisans, welders but none of those welders came from Nigeria. They were all imported. A job as very small as welding that we have over one million welders here, none of them have ISO certification.

Part of our move in this ministry is to partner with the Nigerian Welding Association and set up a hub in six geopolitical zones where we would train welders and give them ISO certification so that they will have that permit to work both in and outside Nigeria. And if we have enough welders in this country, there will be no need to start importing welders.

“What Nigeria is losing by not doing that is over $10billion every year. Because a welder is paid about $150 a day. The same way if you look at AKK pipes that are going on now, most of them came from Pakistan, India, China, not one from Nigeria,” he said.

Earlier, the director general of NACETEM, Dr. Olusola Odusanya said the academic programme being introduced will help develop technological skills that would earn candidates international recognition.

On his part, the vice chancellor, FUT-MINNA, Professor Faruk Kuta said the university was willing to partner with the agency to train middle and high level manpower in the sector as its mandate is to provide technological manpower.

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