By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government on Wednesday inaugurated a six-man ministerial committee on the rehabilitation of Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre, Suleja, Niger State, to kick-start the rebirth of the pottery industry in Nigeria.
The minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja, noted that the new goal of the federal government was to restore the glory of the centre, adding that he felt privileged to witness the first step in such direction with the inauguration of the steering committee to develop a strategy for the rehabilitation of the centre.
Bwari, represented by the Project Coordinator of the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversificstion (MinDiver), under the ministry, Mr Linus Adie, was quoted in a statement by his Media Aide, Ishaku Kigbu, to have said: “Our target is to re-create the glory of the past era and surpass it.”
“As a young student in Government Secondary School, Suleja, the Centre was regarded as a citadel of industry and technology where ordinary clay is transformed into aesthetic household wares.
“The Centre attracted many visitors from all over the world. It brought the Nigerian local pottery industry to international fame and to us it stood as a symbol of industry,” he said.
He described the centre as good example in achieving the lofty goals within the nation’s local industry when accomplished in view of the country’s current plan of diversifying the economy, and creating employment opportunities for the huge population through the utilisation of local resources for industrial production.
The minister, while charging the committee with the responsibility of developing a new concept for the centre, advised them to bear in mind the strong need for its sustainability, and analyse the current market segmentation.
“You should recommend capacity programmes that include national coverage, recommended funding model that ensures the sustainability of the Centre;
“Suggest the necessary infrastructure that will drive the fulfillment of the objectives for the new Ladi Kwali Centre and suggest any downstream development especially in raw materials supply that will sustain the pottery industry in Nigeria.”
Reacting, Chairman of the Committee, Engr. Sani Alhassan, said this is a great day for the Suleja emirate, people and Niger State because efforts were made before with little result.
“I am happy and we will do all we can to get it done. It may seem daunting but we will do our best. What the MinDiver and Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has done is historic.”
The Committee has Engr. Sani Alhassan as Chairman, Umar Shaibu, Umar Saleh, Yunusa Muhammed, Mr Linus Adie and representative of the Niger State government as members.