Akinlade: Low Standard, Importation of Metal Products Bane of SMEs

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Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Developments, Dr Oluwatoyi Akinlade has describes low industrial standard of local metal products and importation of all kinds of metal products as bane of Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

Akinlade, stated this at a workshop organised by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in Kano, which is part of its annual Stimulation and Promotion Workshop for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for the North – West geopolitical Zone.

The one-day programme, she explained 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.

The Perm Sec, in a statement by the Director of Press, of the ministry, Mrs. Etore Thomas, added: “the move was part of its demonstration of its commitment to create awareness (MMSD) amongst the SMEs in the Metals Sector comprising of foundries, fabricators, welders, manufacturers of spare parts, aluminum extrusion, allied products.”

While expressing optimism that the workshop will bridge participants’ gaps on production of quality products that would compete favourably in the global market, however urged participants urged the participants, who were drawn from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa to ensure that the knowledge gained from the seminar will propel the SMEs into higher productivity leading to wealth creation, poverty reduction and increase in the GDP of the country.

In his welcome address at the event, the Acting Director (Steel), Engineer Olasupo noted that the ministry was set to see SMEs operators in the metals sector fully integrated with other stakeholders in the industry.

Hallmark of the event was the presentations made by SMEDAN Representative, Aliyu Aminu; Bank of the North official, Alhaji Aminu Yusuf; and the G.M. (General Services), Ajaokuta Complex, Engr Suleiman Muhammad on critical subject areas to improve the performances of the SMEs in the Metals Sector.

The resource persons, took the operators through nitty gritty of operating a Small and Medium Enterprise 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 among others.