The Federal Government has identified the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as the engine of growth and development for the nation.
This was even as it clamoured for the creation of awareness for the potential inherent in the sector.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu, stated this yesterday, during a one- day workshop on Simulation and Promotion activities of SMEs in the metals sector held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Mu’azu, who was represented at the event by Mr. Patrick Ojeka, Director, Artisans and Small Scale Mining Department of the Ministry, said the Federal Government’s focus was to diversify the economy with minerals and metals as a frontier. He said that the conduct of the workshop was appropriate and aimed at strengthening the developed strategies towards the growth and development of the SMEs in the sector.
“This sensitisation is for each geo-political zone in the country to sensitise those in foundary and fabrication industry for them to know their role in the economy and to contribute to the GDP of the nation.
“Government is making efforts to open channels for SMEs to access the N200 billion fund set aside for them to enable them improve their operations. The government is equally matching words with action in providing the window which is the essence of this workshop, so that participants will be aware of the funds available to them.” He said.
According to the Permanent Secretary, Government was focused on diversifying the economy, using the mineral and metals sector as frontiers, thereby stimulating operators in the sector to improve the economy.
“Government’s focus is on diversifying the economy with mineral and metals as frontiers. Therefore, the conduct of this workshop is appropriate and aimed at strengthening the developed strategies towards the growth and development of the SMEs in the sector and to contribute to the GDP of the nation’s economy.
This workshop will also identify the SMEs in the geo-political zones of the country and create a database for them and also encourage them to form and register themselves into associations and cooperatives with a view to approaching Government development and funding institutions for necessary interface and support to grow and develop the sector,” Mu’azu declared.