“The welding market in Nigeria is a mature market with good opportunities for investors…”

Aryo Ardeniyi,
Chief Executive Officer,
Nigerian Institute of Welding

Could you brief us about yourself? What made you choose welding as a career?

I never chose welding, welding chose me. As a child, I wanted to be a pilot. I was counselled by my mother that she sees me going into the profession that has to do with welding as a teenager. This partly influenced my choice of study in the university and subsequently by fate I ended up in the profession of welding.

I am a subject professional in welding and materials management. I hold a Bachelor Degree in Materials & Metallurgical Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Industrial Metallurgy & Corrosion Management and a Doctoral candidate in Industrial Metallurgy. I also hold an IIW Welding Engineer Diploma, Certification in Management Consultancy, ASNT Non Destructive Testing level II industrial certification in Visual Testing, MagneticTesting, Penetrant Testing, Ultrasonic Testing and Radiographic Interpretation. Additionally, I possess a DNV professional Diplomas in Risk Competence, Systems Management and a Mini MBA.

I have been responsible for both technical and management tasks across training, manufacturing and inspection enterprises. The core of my career has been focused around welding quality management, welding competence management, process development, policy development and reviews, administrative and networking skills, implementing change management, building fruitful partnerships with hundreds of clients across government and private interest groups, and delivering financially profitable bottom-line growth.

Since you hold a vast experience in the field of Welding, can you share some of the interesting learning’s so far?

Most interesting learning experience has been in technology management roles. As you know metals react predictably but humans don’t.

First deep learning experience for me has been the task of developing welding systems across training, asset management and production organizations. The most effective systems developed requires a combination of both technical and managerial depth to address flexible manufacturing ecosystems with intrinsic characteristics to solve societal problems; both existing and envisaged. Building an ISO 3834 production inclined system has been presented some of my most challenging experience. Companies react slowly to embracing competitive best practices

Another deep learning experience is as a brand ambassador for a number of welding technologies. Coordinating market entry can be a very challenging tasks to execute especially when the brands attempt accessing the market with an already established mind set.

Finally, and maybe the most challenging of all for me has been non-executive board role experience in welding technology enterprise both in Nigeria and Africa. The struggle to achieve a balance in professional and economic advice to boards can be a very challenging task to take on. Often, economic interest over rides the focus of most boards and this is where the half-life of a good number of companies start depleting. In addition to knowledge and exposure, it takes a lot of passion and patience to function as a non-executive director with boards and deliver on your responsibility.

You are currently the CEO of the Nigerian Institute of Welding. What type of projects have you worked upon so far? What are your upcoming plans for the betterment of the institute?

I have worked on number of projects including national audit of fabrication of learning capabilities across post-secondary learning institutions, welding management responsibilities (3rd party services management, training and qualification of welding personnel, Welding Competence management) in the development and or construction of key national assets. Most importantly I have worked through the years developing production systems for all class of companies.

Can you please discuss with us more on the role of Nigerian Institute of Welding for the upliftment of welding industry in Nigeria?

Nigerian Institute of Welding is a registered association of welding professionals. A member of the International Institute of Welding with membership across bodies and individuals. The Nigerian Institute of Welding through its authorized national body is involved in the management of education, training, qualification and examination of welding personnel, as well as development and promotion of best practices and policies for the industry. We are steadily working to improve on our national welding capacity.

What type of international standards for welding quality management are being practiced in Nigeria?

Due to the presence of natural resources and consequent international presence, the American standard for product and process certifications was the benchmark for the industry for decades. This however is fast changing with the years of growing awareness. The pace of enquiries and interest for ISO 3834 has grown exponentially in the last few months and set to grow in the next decade to position local companies in Nigeria as globally competitive manufacturing service providers. The whole concept is to build the quality practices of manufacturing companies in Nigeria to be adequately equipped to service markets wherever they exist and when required.

What is the role of Nigerian institute of Welding towards Welders Skill Development?

The Nigerian-Authorized National Body is responsible for examination and qualification of welders and welding personnel in Nigeria. It has a collection of Approved Training Bodies that are responsible for the conduct of training courses

What is your opinion on the quality, environment, health and safety in Welding?

QHSE is the summary of the practice and impact of welding. If welding is not executed to meet a verified and established quality target in line with proposed service condition of a welded asset, the structure cannot be rated as being safe. A facility or structure that is not safe is a waiting hazard to human health as well as the general environment. In essence, there can be no impactful welding industry without QHSE.

What welding safety measures are considered in Nigeria?

Nigerian is a signatory to the ILO convention No 155. It therefore implements a national policy on occupational health and safety. Nigeria also has a in place a code of practice in welding which guides awareness and management of safety and risk issues in welding practice.

Can you describe the welding market scenario in Nigeria?

The welding market in Nigeria is a mature market with good opportunities for investors in the economy. There are vast gaps still unaddressed in the welding value chain in Nigeria with huge potential for investors.

How is the demand and supply scenario?

The market is matured and has been balanced till recent developments. As you are aware, most industries are being recalibrated to serve the emerging intelligent fabrication systems. Scenarios of this nature always stir up gaps in the industrial ecosystem with needs for consumables, updated skills and related production facilities. I can confidently assert that there exists un addressed market gaps that requires investment attention. e.g consumables production, equipment manufacturing, medium level fabrication facilities etc

What is the country’s effort towards encouraging welding as a career?

 The government sponsors development of welding skills across different levels. The international companies also engage in local capacity development in welding. Nigeria has well organized and experienced training system that manage welding trainings to all competency levels.

What new technologies have been introduced in the country, especially when welding is concern?

Automation of welding processes is becoming more prominent in recent times. There is also the growing necessity for smaller fabrication units to grow into the application of GMAW or FCAW as primary production processes based on increased productivity. The increasing need for precision welding is also string the market need for additive manufacturing.

What major challenges do the welding industry in Nigeria faces? What can be the ways to resolve the same?

Lack of funds to address some existing frictions in the industry e.g. consumables production plants, equipment manufacturing plants, Mechanized/Robotics welding training facility etc.

Investment in production facilities.

Closing note?

Nigeria is an open and competitive economy with huge and still growing economic potentials. Rich in culture, beautiful ecosystem and very friendly citizens that embrace all of humanity irrespective of origins. To get the best from Nigeria, think investment and not some market place to just ship and display your wares. Investors must embrace the concept of establishing visible local presence with reliable partnerships in terms of manufacturing and or assembly units to get and sustain return on investments.

The likes of Samsung Heavy Industries, Aveon Offshore and a host of other major companies have shown that it is possible to access and thrive exponentially in the Nigerian market with sound market entry advice.

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