The National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) has asked more Malawians to join the construction industry so that local companies get a bigger market share from the current two percent to 40 percent by 2020.
NCIC chief executive officer Linda Phiri made the remarks when she opened the institution’s new office in Blantyre.
Two years ago, the council undertook a project registration exercise which has captured projects totalling over K1 trillion, but Phiri disclosed that local construction companies get as low as two percent of projects.
“The infrastructural development is the engine for economic development because the construction sector in particular has a potential to contribute up to 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“This can only be realised if we can encourage more local firms to participate in the construction industry so that they can turn around the current shares,” emphasized Phiri.
She then emphasised the need for concerted efforts in ensuring that they build adequate capacity in the local industry.
Principal secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Rexie Chiluzi, commended NCIC for embarking on the expansion drive.
“The opening of new office in the Southern Region marks a greater milestone in the construction industry and we welcome this positive development because we are now assured that the council is within the reach by all stakeholders.” said Chiluzi.
He then assured NCIC of government’s continued support towards the construction industry.
“In view of this, we have supported the council in developing the National Construction Industry Policy which, upon its approval by Cabinet, will provide guidelines for the improvement in the construction works.
“Besides, we have supported the council’s intervention of passing into gazette of the Joint Venture and Sub-Contracting Regulations for the construction companies so that it can achieve its goal of growing the local market shares from the meagre two percent to 40 percent in the next five years,” explained Chiluzi.
NCIC started its operations in 2000 and has been centralised in Lilongwe.
This is said to have created challenges among its members in the Northern and Southern regions whenever they wanted to access its services.
After opening a second office in Blantyre, plans are underway to open another one in the Northern region, according to Phiri.