*As Federation of Construction Industry Celebrates 63rdAnnual General Meeting in Abuja
The Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) held its 63rdAnnual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja on Wednesday July 3, 2019. The AGM that held at the iconic Fraser Hotel and Suites Abuja, was attended by the crème-dela-crème of the construction industry in Nigeria including chief executives, executive directors, and managers of every registered and worthy construction company in Nigeria. Also in attendance with goodwill messages to FOCI were the President of the Council of Registered Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), the President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), as well as the Director-General of the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA).
The President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Bldr. Kenneth Nnabuife Nduka, in his goodwill message, enjoinedFOCI members to pursue excellence in resource mobilisation and utilisation to prevent structure collapse. He also urged government and other clients to avoid delay of valid certificates and pay FOCI members as and when due. This he said would prevent injurious cost overruns on contractor revenues, and guarantee desirable corporate stability and sustenability.
On his part, the Director-General of the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr Olawale Timothy, eulogised the symbiotic relationship between FOCI andNECA. He urged FOCI to continue its important mandate of standing in the gap for organised business and its teeming workforce, to deliver value for all stakeholders. He also urged FOCI members to continue their progressive support for the body.
The President of the Council of Registered Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) at the event celebrated that FOCI is now statutorily represented in the Council of COREN. Earlier, the President of FOCI, Engr. Nasiru Dantata had informed the meeting that President Muhammadu Buhari recently assented to the Engineering Registration Amendment Act, 2019.
The event was kicked off by an introduction of special guests by the Director-General of FOCI, Engr. Mrs Olubunmi Adekoje, was further accentuated by a welcome address by the President and Chairman of the executive committee of FOCI Engr. Nasiru Dantata. Other members of the executive committee present at the meeting included the Deputy President, Chief Vincent Barrah, the Vice President, Barr. Emeka Okoroafor, and the Treasurer, Mr. Abubakar Ndakpayi. Notably present at the AGM, amongst other dignitaries, was also the Executive Director Administration of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi. Alhaji Bayi is also the Chairman of the Public and Advocacy Committee of FOCI. He is also a member of FOCI’s Technical Committee.
The report of the Governing Council of FOCI was delivered by the President Engr Nasiru Dantata who stated that it was his second time and honour of conducting the AGM as the President of FOCI, adding that the year 2018/2019 was a mixed one for the Nigerian economy. He said there was a slight recovery in services and industry particularly mining, quarrying and manufacturing. There was also greater availability of Foreign Exchange, he added.
He further said that despite the delayed signing of the 2018 national budget, which caused some increased fiscal uncertainty, “it is heartwarming to note that in spite of this shaky start, the fiscal deficit narrowed in 2018.”
According to Engr. Dantata, with the 2019 “Budget of Continuity” of N8.92 trillion which was signed into law on 27th May, 2019, “the real GDP is projected to grow by 2.3% in 2019 to 2.4% in 2020 as implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan gains pace…. We are hopeful that the Construction Industry will grow to the next level and we expect some stability due to the continuity in government.
On industrial relations within FOCI member companies, Engr. Dantata said: “We appreciate our Unions for the peaceful and cordial industrial relations within the Construction Industry. Our National Joint Industrial Council shall negotiate terms and conditions for Employees this year. We wish them successful negotiations.” He went further to remind Members and Stakeholders of FOCI’s desire for an iconic building in Abuja “which would serve as FOCI Head office, appropriate meeting place/conference center and additional source of income for FOCI.”
Preceding the 63rd AGM, Engr. Dantata reported that FOCI also published three editions of the Construction Materials Price Index, being the third and fourth Quarter 2018, and the first Quarter 2019. The publications were given wide by sending copies to relevant Directors of Works/Permanent Secretaries in relevant Federal and State Ministries, he said.
Engr. Dantata thereafter called for a minute of silence to be observed in honour of demised FOCI members, Mr. Levi Ikenyi of Cappa & D’Alberto Plc, Mr. Johnny Oguene of Setraco, and Mr. Wolfgang Kollermann, formerly Finance Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc all of whom passed on before the AGM.
Founded by eight member companies in 1954 as Federation of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors in Nigeria in 1954, the body now known as FOCI has grown to have a membership of over a hundred engineering construction contractors. Analysts are in agreement with the FOCI motto:The Competive Advantage of Construction in Nigeria