January 20, 2023

FOCI sets agenda for incoming administration

Akin Fadeyi Foundation kicks off ‘What Women Can Do’ competition

….Demands for establishment of Construction Bank
….Laments impact of insecurity on industry

The President of the Federation of Construction Industry in Nigeria, FOCI, High Chief Vincent Barrah, has set agenda for the incoming administration expected to assume office on May 29, on how to move forward the construction sector of the economy in Nigeria.

High Chief Barrah, spoke on the sideline of an interactive session with the Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and members of the Federation of Construction Industry in Nigeria, FOCI, in Abuja.

The session was facilitated by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as part of the ongoing engagement of critical stakeholders ahead of the general election

The FOCI President, who demanded for the establishment of Construction Bank for the industry from the incoming President, also noted that the administration must address the of insecurity, multiplicity of levies and taxes and scarcity of foreign exchange amongst other things which according to him have impacted negativity on industry’s activities.

High Chief Barrah noted that the body which was founded in 1954 and remains the largest employer of labour after the government, had praised the government for continuing with the infrastructure projects it inherited from the previous administrations and for settling liability of members.

He said though the federation does not endorse of support political parties, the members were committed to interacting with various political parties to discuss ways to ensure the survival and continuity of their business for the good of the Nigerian people.

According to him, “Well, first of all,you know we are federation and as a business organization, we don’t endorse or support any political party.

“We are here to interact on the invitation as I said. And on the way forward for the construction industry in Nigeria. As I stated in our address, we have highlighted the issue of insecurity affecting our members.

“Of course, security is a national issue, it is affecting the construction industry negatively like any othe industry.we have also informed them on the need to establish a Construction Bank .

Other sectors like agriculture, they have agricultural bank. And this construction bank if established will be able to grant facility on single digit interest rate that will help the sustainability of our industry.

“Of course, it’s not going to be free for all, it’s going to be for those companies that handle a certain level of projects for government.

“We have also talked about the fiscal and monetary policy, and the scarcity of foreign exchange for business, the multiplicity of taxes and levies and the depreciation of the naira. These are some of the things that are affecting the construction industry.

“We have also talked about import waiver on heavy duty equipment and award of contract with preference to construction company members. These are some of the things we have presented.

“And it’s our wish that any incoming government should address these issues for the betterment of the constitution industry in Nigeria.”

In his presentation earlier, Barrah noted that, FOCI acknowledges the continuation of infrastructure projects initiated by the previous administration, payment of some inherited debts, reduction of withholding tax from 5% to 2.5%.

“Issuance of Sukuk Bonds and Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit scheme.

“These initiatives were carried out to improve the situation of the constitution industry in Nigeria. We hope that the next administration would continue with these good initiatives.”

High Chief Barrah, however, lamented that “The construction industry is struggling under the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, increase in Inflation, cost of energy, scarcity of foreign exchange and the global economy.

“The industry is also bedeviled with outstanding debts and interest rates accrued therefrom.”