The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Dr. Abdulkadir Mua’azu has stated that the Metal sector is critical to Nigeria’s economic growth and development as it serves as bedrock to boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign exchange earnings.
He made the disclosure while commending the stakeholders in metallurgical sector for their efforts towards reinvigorating the sector during the 2nd Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Stakeholders’ engagement with the South–West Zone holding at Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos
In his welcome address at the Forum tagged; ”Developing SMEs in the Metal sector for economic diversification, job creation and national prosperity”, he described it as timely since it is in line with the present Administration’s change mantra of de-emphasising dependence on oil and gas to focus more on non-oil sectors such as minerals and metals sector.
Dr. Mua’azu, who was represented by the Director, Reform, Cordination & Service Improvement Department, Mr. Zacchaeus Atte, called on the experts present at the workshop organized by MMSD to utilize their enhanced skills in finding creative solutions to revive and rejuvenate the moribund metallurgical industry to facilitate proper harnessing of the country’s natural endowments to effectively create wealth and jobs for national attainment.
He added that the Ministry has developed a roadmap to realize the development of the industry and assured its operators of government’s commitment towards re-engineering the sector to enable it assume its pride of place as the base of the nation’s industrialization.
In their goodwill messages, The Chairman, Metal Operators Association of Nigeria (MOAN), Professor Ibrahim Madugu, and the Lagos State Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Hon. Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye ably represented by Mr. Lekan Ogunbowale, commended the organisers for the laudable engagement and wished all the participants a resourceful deliberation, while pledging support to policies and programmes that would engender economic development.
Speaking on the topic: Overview of the Metal Sector, the Director, Metallurgical Inspectorate & Raw Materials Development, Mr. Victor Ihebinike, said the essence of the 2nd stakeholders forum is to sensitize the public in the six geo-political zones of the country on the economic diversification agenda of the government through value added activities and development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the metallurgical industry to boost the economy.
According to him, the 1st Forum has impacted positively on the private metal sectors as there has been increase in demand for operating license and permit, which will enable operators in the industry to avoid contravening stipulated rules of the sector that will hinder their ease of doing business.
The on-going 3-day programme (22nd – 23rd May, 2019) comprised syndicate groups’ deliberations to promote contributions and suggestions on the way forward for the metal sector to be in active operation for growth and profitability; as well as paper presentations by seasoned resource persons.