By Crusoe Osagie
Nigeria’s building and construction industry has received a boost as a United States company, Strong Structural Steel, a new entrant to Nigeria, is ready to invest $36m to raise the country’s construction standards.
According to the company, the first phase of its investment is expected to bring foreign direct investment of $36 million to Africa’s largest economy, a development that will help stabilise the dwindling naira and foreign exchange earnings.
It also disclosed plan to set up a state-of-the-art technology and proprietary building systems and will be the foundation for an innovative construction/public works project that will result in meeting the growing construction needs of Nigeria.
The company is targeting to develop a market of quality construction, building materials, and public works project, eliminating the need to import steel products and specialised labour, which has characterised the country for decades.
Strong Structural Steel, a United States steel fabricator specialising in the fabrication and erection of Class A Structural Steel, Miscellaneous Steel and Pre Engineered Metal Buildings, was built and equipped to immediately hire 300 local Nigerian employees.
President and CEO of Samano S.A. DE C.V. Nigeria Limited, Jose Salazar Tinajero, said: “The company intends to establish private-public ventures that will benefit the government’s vision of economic growth and the communities’ life quality. The company seeks to establish and ramp up the operations as soon as possible. It plans to dominate the technical aspect of operation with the Strong Structural Steel employee training program in the short term of 18 Months.”
According to Tinajero, the investment is projected as a joint ventures/partnership/affiliation with the Nigerian Government or designated entity to establish a beneficial ownership and operational structure. He said $36 million is being secured to fund on a predetermined progressive scale to allow for the needed construction, equipment, and training of phase 1 of the project.
“The company has already spoken to several participants interested (e.g. emerging market fund, Private Equity Group, Financial institution, etc) in funding the project and bringing it to fruition. We are currently seeking federal or state government participating in the form of land, permits, contracts, and equity participation of no less than 15 percent,” he said, adding that this will allow the government to participate in profit-sharing and job creation.
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