FG Unveils Plan to Halt $10billion Annual Loss to Importation of Welders

-Unveils Policy, Action Plan on Welding, Related Fields

The Federal Government of Nigeria, on Monday unveiled the National Policy on Welding and Welding related Fields and a Strategy Implementation Action Plan aimed at preventing the huge loss the country is suffering from the non-certification of the sector.

According to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Geoffrey Nnaji, who performed the ceremonial unveiling of the policy and the implementation plan in Abuja, the Policy is a response to the long-standing issue of neglect and lack of regulation in the welding sector, which he said had been long left in the hands of uncertified personnel.

Despite having one million welders, Nigeria still loses an estimated $10 billion annually in revenue by importing welders with international certification, displacing the country’s local service providers due to lack of acceptable accreditation.

The Minister, in response to this said, “Research has shown that welders’ contribution to all fabricated products exceeds 70% with most welder-wage components unwittingly exported. The influx of foreign welding personnel, particularly in the oil and gas industry, demands special attention.”

Citing the importance that the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology attaches to the welding sector, especially as a tool to rev the nation’s socio-economic development, Nnaji said, “It is concerning that the lack of internationally recognized certification of industry practitioners has prevented our indigenous welding sector, which should be making a substantial contribution to Nigeria’s economy, from exploiting the myriads of opportunities, particularly in the oil and gas industry and exporting them to an influx of foreign welding personnel.

“Consequently, we have introduced the National Policy on Welding and Welding Related Fields to address this issue and promote the use of local welding personnel in critical economic sectors.”

The minister said the emphasis on international certification has marginalized local welding professionals, depriving them of opportunities to contribute their expertise.

On how to implement the policy in line with the Policy Thrust of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, Nnaji disclosed that the Federal Government will collaborate with the Nigerian Institute of Welding to establish six Centres of Welding Excellence in the six geopolitical zones.

He said, these centres will provide training and ISO Certification to local welders, empowering them to work locally and internationally.

“The Initiative aims to promote local content utilization in alignment with the objectives of Presidential Executive Order No 5, which seeks to boost local content in production,” the minister said.

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