The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, (MMSD), has trained Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the metal sector to boost its development and contribute more to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Declaring the one-day annual Stimulation and Promotion Workshop for SMEs comprising of foundries, fabricators, welders, manufacturers of spare parts, aluminium extrusion, allied products, etc., for the northwest geopolitical zone open, in Kano State, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, noted that the workshop was aimed at strengthening the strategies designed for the growth of the SMEs in the sector, as well as sensitise, stimulate and drive a significant improvement in the sector’s contributions to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and economy.
Represented by the director (special duties), Yisau Adepoju, Akinlade decried the importation of all kinds of metal products due to the low industrial standard of the local metal products, which has adversely affected the SMEs.
She, however, expressed optimism that the workshop will bridge participants’ gaps in the production of quality products that would compete favourably in the global market.
In his welcome address at the event, the acting director (steel), Engr. Olasupo said it is the vision of the ministry to see that SME operators in the sector are fully integrated with other stakeholders in the industry.
He urged the participants, who were drawn from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa to ensure that the knowledge gained from the seminar propels the SMEs to higher productivity, leading to wealth creation, poverty reduction and increase in the GDP of the country.
A statement by the ministry’s director, press and public relations, signed by Chinwe Ekwugha, said highlights of the event were the presentations of SMEDAN representative, Aliyu Aminu; Bank of the North official, Alhaji Aminu Yusuf and the general manager (general services), Ajaokuta Steel Complex, Engr. Suleiman Muhammad, on critical subject areas to improve the performances of the SMEs in the sector.
The resource persons, respectively, addressed the operators on operating an SME in the metals’ sector in Nigeria, funding options for SMEs in the metals’ sector in Nigeria, safety and shop-floor practice for improving efficiency and productivity in the metals enterprises.