Abstract An aspect of an operational nation building would be a country that has a sustainable construction industry whereby it is self-sufficient in the production of its building materials, but that is not the case. The aim of this study was to assess the entrepreneurial opportunities in the production of Building materials. A literature review approach and desk study using secondary data of net income (Profit after tax) during the period 2010 – 2014 of eight (8) building materials companies, publicly listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) were used for the study. From the study, it is evident that there are entrepreneurial prospects in the Housing and infrastructural needs, Maintenance and repairs, need for quality building materials to avoid Building collapse. These entrepreneurial opportunities gives room for huge production of Building materials such as cement, paint, tiles and steel reinforcement. In conclusion, there is a dire need for investment in the production of building materials locally rather than the heavy reliance on importation. In this exasperating times when oil prices have dwindled, the study calls for diversification to other sector. It was recommended that internally and international short term loan acquisition schemes supported by the federal government should be made available to entrepreneurs in production of building materials. Allied facilities such as improved power sector and material protection policy on imported building materials should be fast tracked.
Keywords: building, entrepreneur, opportunities, production, materials
1. Background to the Study
Nigeria is endowed with the population, weather, abundant solid and natural resources. The discovery of oil in Nigeria in 1966 has led to the abandonment of other sectors. With 90% of Nigeria’s revenue been generated in the oil and gas sector, agriculture which was very vibrant has taken back stage. Credit scheme and micro financing option have been introduced by the Federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to resuscitate the glory of the sector due to its ability to provide massive employment (Gbandi and Amissah, 2014). But, the nation is still heavily reliant on food importation. Researchers believed that the neglect of other sectors has resulted in the socio – economic challenges confronting the nation (Ogen, 2007; Ucha, 2010; Adesina, 2013). Unemployment has been the motive for the continued drive to push for entrepreneurship. Kakwagh and Ikwuba (2010); Olokundun, Falola and Ibidunni (2014) noted that unemployment has been the most socio – economic challenge gripping the nation. Ebiringa (2012) identified with the abundant entrepreneurial opportunities Nigeria has to offer, but decried the inapt economic policies that have been implemented under diverse governments. The failure of the policies have engendered small and medium scale (SMEs) to become dependent on distributing imported produce rather than harnessing indigenous resources and indigenous made produce. There have been a lot of studies on the entrepreneurial opportunities that exist in the agricultural sector in Nigeria (Akinbami et al., 2012; Babagana, 2012; Nwibo and Okorie, 2013) or the characteristics of the entrepreneur in the real estate sector (Jaafar et al., 2014) but less has been done as such in the building and construction industry. There are untapped entrepreneurial opportunities in the construction sector that can result in economic growth (United Republic of Tanzania, 2005; International Labour Organisation (ILO), 2007). A sector, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (2015) estimating a yearly contribution of 3 percent on average by the building and construction sector to the real GDP of the nation. One of the principal factors contributing to the building and construction sector are building materials (Abiola, 2000). This is largely because building materials accounts for about half of the total cost of most or any construction products (Kern, 2004; Okereke, 2003). Whereas, most of the building and construction materials in use in the sector are largely imported as opposed to using locally manufactured resources and promoting local content (NBS, 2015). Oluwakiyesi (2011) noted that a substantial amount of the materials imported are substandard.