PLANS to improve the nation’s technology in the building and construction industry got a boost last week as 91 exhibitors from 16 countries in the AfricaBuild fair showcased latest breakthrough in modern equipment designs and products.
In the exhibition tagged: Nigeria Between Affordable Housing and Mega Luxury Projects’, major display included, first ever drones for building and construction, which will be used in safeguarding precious lives often put at risk at construction sites and monitoring urban developments.
Pioneered by Drones 9ja, the drones can be deployed to all types of construction works where height is involved, according to the managing director Tobi Akinbiyi. He explained further that whereas construction workers are put at risk to perform inspection of roofings, bridges, high-rise buildings, scaffoldings and so fort.
“When repairs are to be done through the use of ladders, the construction drones using aerial view captures and close shots will serve to provide a safe mean for first hand assessment of the problem before the deployment of humans. Through this means, necessary caution can then be employed to solving the problem,” he said.
Drones 9ja shares some similarities in a number of ways, with the company of Doca Formworks Nigeria Limited. Although the latter is an Austrian based company, it has been in the country for the past five years and equally offers training to users of its products in the industry with employment generation as the target. Also known as the formwork experts, the over 150 years old company is getting popular in the country as the product is already being used in major projects across the country.
Spokesman for the company, Mr. Kevork Kedikian, the Business Development Coordinator, explained that the company’s products can be used for construction of any size and that the company prides itself in being the only one in its field that offers specialized training for new users of its products.
From Spain, Grupopuma participated in the fair hoping find distributors for its more than 200 assorted products that are cement based. In the words of the company’s representative, Mr. Ricardo Mariscal of the International Department, the fair had been “really interesting”,
The story was the same for 28-year-old Fumeca from Spain that sells batching plants with about 10 varied models as well as Poland’s Klimas that deals in the manufacturing of fasteners, screws and plaques for construction of all kinds for the past 25 years.
According to Export Manager, Mr. Marcin Bulanda, “”we are operating in 52 countries worldwide. We are thinking of opening an office here in Nigeria and maybe a warehouse. But we must first partners.”
Blue Ocean, on the other hand, is a UK based company owned by Nigerian Mr. Ezinna Orji. The company produces polymer pipes that can be used for industrial, corporate and domestic purposes, suitable for water, gas and all forms of liquid channeling.
AfricaBuid was their first exhibition appearance, which Orji hopes will produce viable clientele and business partnerships in terms of distributors to help the company establish a presence here in Nigeria.
Also prominent at he Fair, was Poelsan from turkey, with its compression fittings for water pipes and taps comprising of elbows adaptors, couplings, irrigation well box, among others. The company located in Black Sea, Turkey, has been in business since 1994with presence in about 45 countries but was coming to Nigeria for the first time.
“We need customers to enter into the market in Nigeria. We want an opportunity for our products to be displayed in some of the markets and so that hopefully, we can continue to bring in products here and to neighbouring countries,” said Mr. Huseyin Piskin, the Foreign Trade Representative of the company.
Rastone form Italy showcased natural and artificial stones form Italy and turkey useful for internal and external finishing of buildings and different construction works. The company is already doing business with Cappa and D’Alberto of the Eko Atlantic City project. Notwithstanding, they came looking for expansion opportunities and distributors.
De-Pa form Istanbul deals “in every material related with electricals suitable for building and construction,” said its Export Manager, Mr. Muhammed Beyatli. To “find wholesalers to market their goods here in Nigeria” was the target.
There was also The Progress Group, comprising of four arms of German, Canadian, Belgian and Italian based companies and whose business is in the area of producing concrete solutions “form A to Z,” according to Mr. Mentens Lode, the Area Sales Manager.
“We are here to get knowledge about how the market operates here. We have been in business for more than 40 years and with our four strong entities, we are versatile in our operations,” he stated.
Although, the entire list of exhibitors cannot be mentioned in this piece, but overall, the expectations of the exhibitors was uniform and seemed to resonate with the organizers. In the words of Darryl Pawsey, Regional Industry Director of ITE who partnered with Fairtrade GmbH, Nigeria is an expanding market with a lot of high profile projects as well as smaller ones. “It can therefore benefit from new technologies developing all over the world, hence the exhibition was aimed at bringing some of such companies with products that can be described as breakthrough technologies in different aspects of the construction activities to the shores of Nigeria”.
However, like all things good, the fair came to a close on Thursday the 18th with some satisfied and some not so satisfied exhibitors as well. Notwithstanding, the date has already been fixed for the next edition come 2017, for the 15th and the 17th February