Construction companies in Nigeria encourage the use of local content and PPPs in order to stay sustainable while giving back to the community.

Harcourt Adukeh

Managing Director, Megastar Technical and Construction Company Limited

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is doing a remarkable job trying to enforce using local materials in the construction industry, which has not had much legislative backing. There is a current drive to encourage the government to apply the same policy for the construction industry as previously done for the oil industry, but it is a slow process. The aim is to buy as many Nigerian products as possible, and what cannot be produced should be bought from a Nigerian business, with value added by assembling or fabricating these materials locally. Buying materials locally will give Nigerians confidence in maintenance and replaceability, employ more people, and generate business. With new legislation, the government needs to leave room for technology transfer and foreign partnerships. It is not about keeping out expatriate companies, because that would not be fair. However, we need to give back to people here as much as possible. It is also about raising the bar for quality and completion time.

Ahmed Ragab

Managing Director, Mantrac

Mantrac is a family business that invests for the long term. Regions like Africa are where infrastructure and development are required, and this is where we can differentiate ourselves. We now have a firm footprint in every single territory that we are managing within Africa. We work with major players across various segments including oil and gas, power generation, construction, marine, agriculture, and mining. A strong vibrant economy will positively affect our business and vice versa. Therefore, we consistently monitor key economic indicators to ensure our decision-making is data driven. The currency devaluation some years ago impacted our business. For the most part, this has improved significantly though it remains a cause for concern. Quality control in the market is a major challenge. Today, the availability of cheap counterfeit parts is prevalent, and this affects the productivity and life span of companies' machines in the long run. This, in turn, can have a negative effect on customer perception.

Reşit Tolga Babüroğlu

Managing Director, Ronesans Construction

Given the deficit, it is a no-brainer to opt for PPPs in Nigeria. We have previously worked with Japanese funds, as well as a large French fund. These funds are equally interested and prepared to come to Nigeria, especially now with the new regime. We are in discussions with the government to take up PPP projects over the next three years. Financial closures, agreements, and guarantees all take a long time. Such matters are always challenging, but Nigeria, just like many other countries, will solve those challenges sooner or later and meet its amazing potential. In terms of PPP projects, we have checked a few states and are looking at their incomes, noting that oil-producing states and Lagos are appealing. Kano will be another state to consider. But, for us to have sustainability, we must rely on the private sector because payment ultimately remains problematic in the public sector. We are busy with two private-sector projects, both in Lagos. One is a hotel project and the other is a large-scale luxury residential project.

Igbuan Okaisabor

CEO, Construction Kaiser

Satellite cities, mixed-use spaces, and other similar trends will be solutions to the housing crisis in Lagos. The housing gap is around 22 million units in Nigeria; if everyone aims to live in Lagos, it will be expensive to develop homes for them. Some people wake up at 4:00am to get to the city. If there was a good rail network, it would be easier for people to commute in Lagos. People can then reside in Ibadan and other satellite cities and conveniently work in Lagos. We also have to go vertical. Land in Lagos is limited; its landmass accounts for less than 1% of the national land area, yet 10% of the national population resides here. We need to see mixed-use buildings on Lagos Island where people can live and work in the same space. It is something to look at, not least to ease road congestion. There needs to be more investment in water transportation, which I have heard will be happening in the future.