SMEs: Nigerian govt establishes raw materials centers across 36 States
By Idowu Isamotu, Abuja
Less than two months to the end of first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, federal government on Monday disclosed that all arrangements have been concluded to establish Raw Materials Resource and Information Centers in all the 36 states in Nigeria.
This, according to the minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, will definitely boost the contribution of the industrial sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He told journalists while commissioning the headquarters of the centre in Abuja that the Resource Center modelled like a museum will help in the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises which will contribute to the diversification of the economy and create jobs.
“What we are looking at is the future of our country. We want a Nigeria where every Nigerian will be very proud. This resource centre is very important to the growth of this nation and represents the future of our nation. The centre is almost like a museum in the sense that it is going to display in one spot, all the raw materials we have in the nation, their location, reserve and a lot more.
“Investment opportunities will be made here. A business man or woman can see these raw materials and take a decision in investing in using a specific raw material, that is what the resource centre will do for us.
“This is critical because it is going to help in the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises. It is important to our diversification agenda because we are looking for how we can create more jobs and generate wealth for our people.
“This micro, small and medium enterprises will start small but have the capacity to grow into large enterprises, that is how to grow the economy, create wealth and fight poverty.
“The building was put up by an indigenous construction company in line with the executive order no5, which wants to make sure we put Nigerian professionals at the centre of economic activities in our country,” he said.
The Minister, however, called on the Director-General of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Professor Husseni Ibrahim to make the Resource Center a hub of attraction to students in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in order to inspire them become scientists and engineers.
He also charged research agencies to do further research by taking raw materials from their natural state to products were they can make money especially in the area of agriculture and solid minerals so that Nigeria will not continue to rely on oil and gas.
Onu added that the commissioned RMRDC headquarters, Phase 11 will provide accommodation for staff enabling them to function properly and also enhance their productivity.
He noted that everything in the Resource Center is done to strengthen the relationship with the private sector because they drive the economy all over the world.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General of RMRDC, Prof. Professor Husseni Ibrahim noted that it has become more profitable to produce what we consume and consume what we produce to make any meaningful development of our dear country to take place.
According to him, many manufacturers today have over this period become conversant with adding value to raw materials thereby saving the nation billions of dollars in foreign exchange earnings. This is due to information available and at the disposal of the Nigerian manufacturers of raw materials.