Stakeholders in the science and technology sector have validated the Draft National Policy on Welding and Welding and Related Fields for onward transition to the Federal Executive Council for its final approval.
Speaking at the validation workshop today (February 22) in Abuja, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said welding and its related fields are important in the enhancement of the local content in the realisation of the nation’s goal for development and rapid industrialisation.
He maintained that welding and its related fields are critical to the overall socio-economic development of the nation, stressing it is urgently needed to promote and encourage the utilisation of local welding personnel in critical sectors of the economy. This, he said, will help the nation become self-reliant.
Onu expressed satisfaction that welding techniques are sophisticated where nano-technology is taking the lead, adding that Nigerian products will be commercialised, as it will equip Nigerians with leading skills in manufacturing industries.
He assured that FMSTI will support the Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW) in its efforts towards the development of the nation.
The minister expressed confidence that the validation workshop will provide useful information that can bring about improvements in the draft policy before its presentation to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration and approval.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said that the National Welding Policy is envisioned to enhance the performance of all the critical sectors of the economy and “fast-track our industrialisation drive”.
He further said that the policy has great promise to tackle and eradicate poverty, create jobs and wealth for the nation.
Giving an overview of the document, the director-general, National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Prof. Okechukwu Ukwuoma said the policy represents a declaration and commitment to the priorities, directions and practical support that Nigeria intends to provide for the promotion and regulation of welding practices in the country.
Represented by the president, Nigerian Institute of Welding, Dr. Solomon Edebiri, Ukwuoma described the policy as a “concrete and bold step to put the participation of all stakeholders, especially welding practitioners – including women – at the forefront of driving national development efforts of government by utilising welding and welding-related activities as catalysts in construction, manufacturing and production sectors of the economy”.