The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development on Thursday, convened the seventh annual stimulation and promotion workshop for metallurgical industry SME operators in the North – West geopolitical Zone of the country.
Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Etore Thomas, who confirmed the development to our correspondent via a statement, said, the workshop aims to create awareness among small and medium scale operators in the Metals Sector. Participants at the workshop include foundries, fabricators, welders, manufacturers of spare parts, aluminum industry users and allied products.
Declaring the one-day programme open, at Nasarawa Guest Hotel, Kano State, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. (Mrs), Oluwatoyin Akinlade, who was represented by Director, Special Duties, Yisau Adepoju, noted that the workshop aims to strengthen the strategies designed for the growth of SMEs in the sector, while also facilitating improvement in the contribution of the sector to the GDP.
Dr Akinlade decried the importation of all kinds of metal products due to low industrial standard of the local Metal products, which has adversely affected the SMEs. She was optimistic that the workshop will bridge participants’ gaps on production of quality products that would compete favourably in the global market.
In his welcome address, the Acting Director, Steel, Engineer Olasupo said it is the vision of the Ministry to see that SME operators in the Metals Sector are fully integrated with other stakeholders in the industry.
He urged the participants, who were drawn from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States to ensure that the knowledge gained from the seminar will propel the SMEs into higher productivity, leading to wealth creation, poverty reduction and increase in the GDP of the country.
Highlights of the event include presentations by the representative of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Aliyu Aminu; Bank of the North official, Alhaji Aminu Yusuf; and the G.M. (General Services), Ajaokuta Complex, Engr Suleiman Muhammad on critical subject areas to improve the performances of the SMEs in the Metals Sector.
The resource persons, respectively, addressed the operators on operating a Small and Medium Scale Enterprise in the Metals Sector in Nigeria, funding options for SMEs in the Metals Sector in Nigeria, and safety and shop floor practice for improving efficiency and productivity in the Metals enterprises.