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FG moves to stop $10bn capital flight in welding industry

The federal government has unveiled a plan to halt the $10 billion loss annually in revenue due to importation of welders with international certification. The…

The federal government has unveiled a plan to halt the $10 billion loss annually in revenue due to importation of welders with international certification.

The government 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.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Geoffrey Nnaji, who performed the ceremonial unveiling of the policy and the implementation plan in Abuja, said 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.

The minister 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.”

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Citing the importance that the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology attaches to the welding sector, especially as a tool to increase the nation’s socio-economic development, Nnaji said, “It is concerning that the lack of internationally recognised 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.

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.

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