FG  Launches Strategic Initiative To Halt $10 Billion Revenue Loss To Imported Welders

Daud Olatunji

In a bid to stem the annual hemorrhage of approximately $10 billion in revenue due to the importation of welders, the Federal Government unveiled a groundbreaking National Policy on Welding and Welding Related Fields in Abuja on Monday. 

Led by the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, Uche Geoffrey Nnaji, the initiative aims to bolster job opportunities for Nigerians while fostering wealth creation within the country.

The policy, prompted by the chronic neglect and lack of regulation in the welding sector, envisions the establishment of six Centers of Welding Excellence across the nation in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Welding.

 Minister Nnaji emphasized the transformative impact this policy would have on a profession that has long been dominated by non certified personnel.

Despite boasting approximately one million welders domestically, Nigeria has been grappling with an annual revenue loss of $10 billion due to the importation of internationally certified welders. 

These foreign professionals often displace local service providers, exacerbating the economic setback caused by the absence of acceptable accreditation.

Minister Nnaji underscored the significance of the welding sector, revealing that research indicates welders contribute over 70% to all fabricated products, with much of the income inadvertently exported. 

He particularly highlighted the influx of foreign welding personnel, especially in the oil and gas industry, as a critical concern demanding immediate attention.

The Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology is keen on revitalizing the welding sector to stimulate socio-economic development. 

Minister Nnaji expressed concern over the lack of internationally recognized certification for industry practitioners, hindering the indigenous welding sector from capitalizing on numerous opportunities, especially in the oil and gas industry.

The new National Policy on Welding and Welding Related Fields seeks to rectify this issue, with a focus on promoting the utilization of local welding personnel in pivotal economic sectors. 

Nnaji emphasized that the policy aligns with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, and the establishment of welding centers will provide training and ISO Certification to local welders, enabling them to contribute both locally and internationally.

Dr. Solomon Ebri, the Board Secretary of the Nigerian Institute of Welding, hailed the policy as a game-changer that will reorder Nigeria’s welding landscape.

 He highlighted the potential for improved manufacturing, human capacity development, infrastructure enhancement, and support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

 The effective implementation of this policy is expected to curtail Nigeria’s dependence on foreign welders and significantly reduce revenue losses.

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