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Nigeria provides a huge market for a wide range of products and services- Dr. Robinson Ejilah

.. As Business leaders from Turkey gathered in Lagos to explore opportunities in Nigeria

Charge-Up Remark by the NIMechE National Chairman, Engr. Dr. Robinson I.Ejilah, MNSE, FNIMechE, at the HAVAC-R Business-to Business (B2B) & Seminar, Organized by Elan Expo and Turkish Export Society at the Four Point by Sheraton, Victoria Island, Lagos – Nigeria,

Protocols.
It gives me great pleasure to be called upon to deliver a remark at this important Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) B2B and Seminar organised by Elan Expo and members of the Turkish Export Society. It’s been three years on, NIMechE was enamoured with Elan Expo to organize HVAC& R expositions and workshops in Nigeria,- and we have been ‘caught by the HVAC-R bug’ since then.

I find it exciting to note that this relationship has matured over the years and further enhanced our professional and trade relationship with the Turkish manufacturing community. We are indeed honoured to host 16 industrial big names and noted brands speaking about their products and latest HVAC-R technology here today. A seminar of this nature provides the opportunity to hobnob with manufacturers and facilitate their engagements with the Nigerian professional engineering and business communities.

I have mentioned at a forum such as this in the recent past, that food security is very ‘key’ to national development. As such, any country that cannot feed its population is not worth its name, Hence, policy makers in the agriculture, energy and engineering, education and food sectors must work together to promote the use of cold chain technology, improve logistics, maintenance, services, infrastructure, education and management skills, and create sustainable markets for the design, use and funding of cold chains to reduce perishable food losses.

Experiences drawn from our previous HVAC& R interactions, have shown that HVAC&R, water treatment and insulation sectors demonstrates significant growth potentials in Africa, with an unprecedented level of trade import performance, and associated foreign investments opportunities in Nigeria.

The prospects for growth in Nigeria will be further enhanced if we address the following challenges.

a. The prevalence of outdated refrigerants with high ozone depletion potentials (ODPs), in air conditioning and refrigeration systems in Nigeria, and their consequences on public health and environmental safety.

b. The huge manpower gap existing in the nation’s HVAC&R sector with a specific reference to repairs and maintenance of state-of-the-art HVAC facilities. Hence, human capacity development through skilling and re-skilling the workforce to keep abreast with rapid technological changes in the sector is more -than -ever imperative to create jobs and wealth for the economy.

c. HVAC&R equipment producers in Nigeria are scarce, and by this unique interaction, manufacturers are encouraged to set-up factories and assembly plants in Nigeria to enhance service provisions, employment creation, and promote local content development.

d. To mitigate the challenge of inadequate power supply from the national grid for reason of existing infrastructural deficit, more emphasis should be placed on innovating HVAC&R facilities with evident capacity for low-cost cooling, and top energy saving to ameliorate the peculiar challenge(s) of high power cost and incessant power outages.

Any effort made by HVAC&R manufacturers to address these concerns, will improve their chances of doing good business in Nigeria.

Nigeria provides a huge market for a wide range of products and services, and that makes it the centre point of business in Africa. Hence, doing business in Africa without a corporate presence in Nigeria, simply implies, you haven’t started yet! For the first-timer, it might seem that the Nigerian market is somewhat impenetrable. However, my guess to your market success hugely rests on your ability to dispense your corporate goodwill, through corporate social responsibility (CSR), product durability and affordability.

You all know the psychological impact of product advertising in business promotion. It makes it very clear that the battle ground of winning patronage and customers, is the ‘hearts and minds’ of the people, as choices are often made by individual preferences in the midst competition.

The Nigerian business environment receives with warm embrace benign businesses that impact positively on the lives of its nationals and communities. Hence, businesses with an elaborate CSR programmes, durable and affordable product marketing tend to penetrate the markets faster and better than otherwise. The CSR programmes could come in various forms; it could take the form of partnerships with professional groups with the focus of giving a boost to their professional activities, or collaborating with communities with an aim of improving their livelihoods. I am certain that most showcased products today on display at this event must have passed through various stages of product standardization and certification to ensure their global competitiveness, in terms of product durability, functionality and aesthetic appeal. Nonetheless, I wish to urge our Turkish friends to also take advantage of the opportunities CSR offers to warm themselves into the very heart of the Nigerian market population.

businesses with an elaborate CSR programmes, durable and affordable product marketing tend to penetrate the markets faster and better than otherwise- Dr. Robinson Ejilah

Rising from this seminar, I am more hopeful than ever, that the knowledge shared will impact on the efficiency of in-operation assets of cold chains and portable water operators, and keep our participants competitive in skill delivery, and up-to-dated with relevant training and capacity building techniques for cold chain development in Nigeria.

I would like to commend in a special way, Mr Jude Chime for his exceptional people’s skills and organizational ability. He is the face of ELAN EXPO in Nigeria, and the man ‘behind the driving wheel’ of this very exciting event. We are hopeful that this collaboration will get better and mature over time like old wine!

Thank you for your attention.

Dr. Ejilah Ro

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