Industry focus

Vijay Naidu at office in Suva yesterday.Picture ATU RASEA

LICENSING the operators in the construction industry is one of the first things that is on the to do list of the newly appointed chief executive officer of the Construction Industry Council.

Vijay Naidu’s appointment was announced this week by the council president Gordon Jenkins who said this was a critical juncture in their development and the council was fortunate to have the services of Mr Naidu.

Mr Naidu yesterday said the council was moving into its new office based at the Fiji National University campus in Samabula on October 4. He said his focus as the CEO was going to be on the resolutions that were made by the 370 delegates who were at the CIC conference held at the Warwick Fiji in June this year.

“Licensing the operators in the industry — subcontractors, plumbers, construction companies and others need to have proper licenses,” he said. He said with the current laws anyone could go to the Company of Registrars and register their company and start working in the construction sector, even if they did not have any experience in the industry.

An Act of Parliament was needed for the CIC to ensure that whoever registered to operate a construction company or related to the industry, complied with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service and Fiji National Provident Fund.

Mr Naidu said they would work with government to get the authority to give licence to people and in the process they would do thorough checks on applicants and get feedback on the work they had done and their clients on their customer satisfaction.

Another focus of the council would be to continue with the education and training of industry stakeholders to ensure there are qualified and skilled people in the industry.

Mr Naidu said statistics showed that there were about 4800 people registered with the National Employment Council, who needed jobs.

“The important question to ask is have our tertiary institutions aligned the courses with the needs of the industry,” he said.

Mr Naidu said industry stakeholders and the tertiary institutions should get together and identify what the industry required and then set out courses according to the needs of the various industries.

He has extensive experience in the construction industry that includes general manager — properties for Tappoo Group of Companies and chief financial officer for Tabua Investments (developers of Denarau).

Mr Naidu was also secretary of the Master Builders Association before assuming his new position.

The Construction Industry Council comprise all the major construction activities in the country, including builders, subcontractors, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, hardware suppliers, developers, project managers and key government representatives.

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