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Minister Emphasises Vital Role Of Skill Acquisition For Industrial Advancement @ Welding Conference

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The Minister of State for Steel Development, H.E Uba Ahmadu.
The Minister of State for Steel Development, H.E Uba Ahmadu.

In a resounding call for the prioritization of skill acquisition in propelling industrial development, the Minister of State for Steel Development, H.E Uba Ahmadu, has highlighted the critical role of advanced welding technologies and expertise.

Ahmadu made these remarks at the 2nd Annual Assembly and International Welding Federation Africa Conference held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Addressing a gathering of industry stakeholders, the minister stressed that promoting excellence and innovation in welding across the African continent is pivotal for sustainable economic growth, employment creation, and the strengthening of the industrial fabric. Ahmadu emphasised the importance of skill development, acknowledging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision in launching the National Welding Policy in 2023 as a strategic move to leverage natural resources and human capital for economic advancement.

“I am reminded of the visionary leadership of President Bola Tinubu, and his steadfast commitment to advancing the welding sector under the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda. President Tinubu’s National Welding Policy, launched in December 2023, exemplifies a strategic approach to leveraging our natural resources and human capital to drive economic growth, create employment opportunities and enhance industrial competitiveness,” stated Ahmadu.

The minister highlighted the Metallurgical Training Institute (NMTI), Onitsha as a key player in achieving excellence in welding education. He commended the institute for its state-of-the-art facilities, world-class training programmes and expert faculty members, emphasising its role in empowering youths with practical skills and technical expertise.

Assuring the commitment of the Nigerian government, Ahmadu pledged to collaborate with Welding Federation Africa to modernise welding training infrastructure, develop industry-aligned curriculum, establish international certification programmes, invest in outreach programmes to encourage youth participation, and promote the economic viability of the welding profession.

During the event, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Nura Rimi, represented by director of industrial development, Muhammad Bala affirmed the ministry’s commitment to implementing strategic policies to enhance machinery and equipment fabrication. The theme, “Materials Manufacturing Technologies: Managing Capacity in Africa,” aligned with the ministry’s efforts to manage and expand manufacturing capacity on the continent.

Rimi disclosed the ministry’s strategic order to the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to prioritise and expedite welding skills development initiatives. He urged collaboration between Welding Federation Africa and ITF to collectively address the skills gap in welding-related industries in Nigeria.

Chairman of the Welding Federation Conference Management Committee, Dr. Austen Timi Peters emphasised that the fully developed Federation could contribute significantly to the economy and address youth unemployment by providing essential welding skills.

The conference featured distinguished speakers, including the chairman of Petroleum Technology Association (PETAN), president of the Council of Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), president of the International Institute of Welding, along with delegates from across Africa. The event provided a platform for stakeholders to forge partnerships, share knowledge, and contribute to the growth of the welding industry in Africa.

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