The Nigerian construction industry has outgrown most other sectors of the local economy over the last few fears. And according to the Nigerian Economic Outlook research by FSDH Securities, the Nigerian construction industry is expected to maintain a continuous growth from 2013 – 2017.
Also, Business Monitor International (BMI) has estimated Nigeria’s construction industry growth in 2013 at 10%, bolstered by investment and the consumer sector, as well as the growing oil sector, fuelled by historically high prices. In its third quarter 2013 forecast for the country’s infrastructure industry, BMI anticipated annual average real growth of 9.2% between 2012 and 2016.
And Nigeria is Africa’s largest cement market. Cement output capacity has expanded to 28.5 million metric tonnes in 2013 from 2 million metric tonnes in 2002.
All these stats point to one fact, the Nigerian building and construction industry is growing fast and filled with career opportunities but lacking qualified human resources to seize these opportunities. And one of the major human resource shortages is the professional builder.
Meaning the fastest way to get a job in the Nigerian construction industry is to become a professional builder.
Who is a Professional Builder?
A professional builder is a general building work contractor who can put your whole project together. The builder will assume complete responsibility for the work contracted and give you a warranty once completed.
In other words, a professional builder’s role entails the following:
- An extensive business network of suppliers, trades, installers and experts that they draw on as required for a construction project.
- Understanding of the technical aspects of construction in detail and knowing how houses work. They can assess a construction project and explain what is involved, as well as identify potential problems and provide solutions.
- Advice on the most suitable approach if a project requires design services, and recommendations for a design professional if needed. Some professional builders offer both design and construction services. Alternatively, some builders are experienced in working with architects or building designers.
- Extensive knowledge of and experience using the latest products and materials. They keep up-to-date and can help clients make the selections that will work best for their project and budget.
- Familiarity with the building and construction regulations and codes in your area and how the system works.
- Consultation with you to determine the right budget for your project. They know through experience the cost of materials and labour and therefore are in the best position to offer realistic cost effective construction, to achieve your project goals.
- The ability to organize and manage a project – scheduling workers, trades and delivery of materials; keeping track of expenses; maintaining a clean and safe work site; and minimizing the inconvenience to clients. When necessary, they know how to deal with the unexpected and the surprises that sometimes occur on a construction project.
Now that you are familiar with the role of a professional builder, your next concern should be how to become one so that you can quickly land yourself a job in Nigeria’s growing construction industry.
How to Become a Professional Builder in Nigeria
The building profession is just like any other profession in Nigeria. There is a big difference between having a career in the building industry and being a professional builder. The fact that you have a degree in Building, Civil Engineering or any other related course or the fact that you have been handling building contracts and jobs does not qualify you as a professional builder.
Just as being a practicing accountant of a firm or possessing a degree in Accounting doesn’t qualify you as a professional accountant until you become a Chartered Accountant with ICAN. A similar process is also required to become a professional builder in Nigeria.
So to land your dream job quickly in Nigeria’s growing construction industry, here’s how you can become a professional builder in Nigeria;
Get an Academic Qualification
Your first step is to obtain a relevant academic qualification by pursuing any building and construction related program from any Nigerian university or polytechnic either in the ND or HND categories.
According to the Nigerian Institute of Building [NIOB], the professional body responsible for certifying professional builders in Nigeria, at present there are over eleven (11) Universities offering B.Sc Building Programme and about twenty (20) Polytechnics offering National (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) Building programmes in Nigeria.
- FEDERAL/STATE UNIVERSITIES
- Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State
- University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos
- Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State
- University of Jos, Plateau State
- Abubabar Tafawa Belewa University, Bauchi State
- Abia State University, Uturu, Abia State
- Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State
- University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
- Enugu State University of Science & Technology, Enugu State
- Imo State Unversity, Owerri, Imo State
- Federal University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State
- Ondo State University Akungba, Ondo State
- Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State
- Rivers State University of Science & Technology, Port-Harcourt
- Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State
- PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES
- Bells University, Otta, Ogun State
- Covenant University, Otta,Ogun State
- Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji, Arekeji, Osun State
- Caleb University, Lagos
- Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State
- Federal Polytechnic,Bida, Niger State
- Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State
- Federal Plytechnic, Kaura Namoda
- Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa
- Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State
- The Polytechnic, Calabar, Cross Rivers State
- The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State
- The Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State
- Katsina State Polytechnic,Katsina
- Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja,Niger State
- Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu
- Yaba College of Technology, Lagos
- Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State
- Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State
- Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna
- Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State
- Kano State Polytechnic, Kano
- Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, Kwara State
- Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos State
- Our Saviour Institute of Science , Agriculture and Technology, Enugu
- Osun Stae College of Technology, Esa-Oke
- Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Afikpo
2. Apply for a Graduate Membership
Graduates of relevant building programs from the higher institutions listed above can become graduate members of NIOB. You must also undergo a training period under the supervision of a fully registered builder and pass the appropriate examinations of The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and the interview of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) before attaining full professional status.
3. Become a Non-Academic Qualified Member
If you don’t have relevant academic qualifications, you can become a professional builder by engaging the professional examinations of the NIOB which are normally taken during the first week of June and December every year.
A successful candidate with the professional qualifications of MNIOB [Member of Nigerian Institute of Builders] can register with CORBON after fulfilling all conditions specified in the ACT and can now practice fully as a “Fully Registered Builder”.
The Employment Opportunities for Professional Builders in Nigeria
Now that you’ve known how to become a professional builder, your employment opportunity lies in the following broad sectors of the Nigerian economy:
- Private Sector:
- Commercial, Merchant and Mortgage Banks/Finance-Houses/Insurance;
- Mining/Petrochemical Industries;
- Oil and Gas Companies;
- Multinational Corporations;
- Building and Engineering Manufacturing Industries;
- Property Development Companies,
- Building Construction Companies
- Private Consultancy firm of Builder practices
- Private individuals
- Public Sector:
- Federal and State Ministries and parastatals
- Local Governments
- Urban and Regional Planning Board and Local Planning Authorities in all the States of the Federation
- Nigerian Armed Forces: Army, Naval, Air Force
- Nigerian police
- Nigerian Customs Services
- Nigerian Prison Services
- Academic Sector: as Lecturers, Staff of Works, and Services Departments
And if you would rather be your own boss than work for someone else, you can start up your own construction business offering the following building consultancy services as a professional builder;
- Building Production Management
- Building Maintenance Management
- Project Management
- Building Surveying
- Feasibility Management
- Facilities Management
- Project Monitoring and Evaluation
- Arbitration, Mediation and Expert Witness
- Building Construction,
- Reactivation of abandoned projects
- Feasibility and Viability Studies
- Litigation and Arbitration, Variation and Fluctuation
- Resident Supervision
- Prime Consultancy,