The Federal Government has charged Building and Wood workers in the construction industry to transit from traditional competence to more sophisticated skills to retain industrial relevance in the rapidly changing world, while also assuring on the prompt payment of contracts executed.
Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, stated this Wednesday, when he declared open the 2nd Building and Wood Workers International (BWI), Africa and Middle East Conference, in Abuja.
The Vice President who represented President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the occasion said “the need to train and equip a new generation of Engineers, builders and Wood-workers with the right tools to address the challenges for future development has been vigorously canvassed. I share these expectations.”
He also added that “regarding the issue of payment to contractors, Government is effecting releases to settle contractors. In fact this third quarter release is huge and you will recall only recently, Mr. President signed performance contracts with the Ministers who will further sign with the Permanent Secretaries and Directors and this will obviously include the issue of ensuring payments as you cannot achieve contracts without payments.”
Vice President Sambo lauding BWI on efforts to develop the capacity of its members stated that government was ready to partner with Unions and Associations to certify competent middle level artisans in the industry to enhance their employability. He also implored them to fashion out ways for members to cope with the down time moments for another contract.
He used the occasion to inform the gathering of the giant strides the President Jonathan led administration was recording in the power, agriculture, transportation, water resources, and the oil and gas sectors etc., adding that the administration stood on strict observance of the rule of law and fight against corruption.
In his remarks the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu stated that the hosting of the event was a landmark achievement for the labour, adding that construction workers were an integral part of national development, whose services were not only essential but also critical. He disclosed that government had institutionalised the principle of Social Dialogue and Tripartism.
Earlier the President of the National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture & Wood Workers (NUCECFWW), Dr. Samuel Adeoye, urged African and Middle East leaders to ensure favourable conditions of service and conducive work environment for their members.
The Conference with the theme: “Building and Advancing Workers Power in Construction and Forestry Sector” has the participation of 26 countries from 35 unions from Arica and Middle East, 26 women representatives and 15 youth representatives. It has a membership of about 10 million around the world.
Present at the occasion were the President of NLC, Abdulwaheed Omar, per Olof Sjoo Deputy President of BWI and Mr. Piet T. Matosa, Regional Chair and BWI Vice President Africa and Middle East.