The Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology (FMIST) has launched the national policy on welding and welding-related fields and strategy implementation action plan to discontinue the importation of welders into Nigeria.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, who made this known at the unveiling of the policy in Abuja, Tuesday, explained that the aim is to conserve the $10 billion spent annually on importation of welders.
He said the policy would not only create employment opportunities but also contribute to the overall industrialisation of the country.
“Despite having over one million welders, Nigeria still loses an estimated $10 billion annually in revenue by importing welders with international certification, displacing our local service suppliers due to the lack of acceptable accreditation,” he said.
The minister, who expressed dissatisfaction with the influx of foreign welding personnel in the country, stressed that international certification has marginalized local welding professionals by depriving them of opportunities to contribute their expertise.
He added that the ministry had empowered many Nigerians with requisite skills through capacity building in the areas of fabrication of machines, leather technology, solar energy, finishing of buildings, and small hydro turbines for power generation, among others.