By Bimbola Oyesola
In its bid to ensure survival of local industries in the face of scarce foreign exchange, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said it is partnering the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Ministry of Science and Technology to organise an international expo for local manufacturers to source raw materials.
The MAN expo tagged, “Nigeria Manufacturers and Equipment (NME) Expo”, which runs concurrently with the Nigeria Raw Materials Exposition (NIRAM) organised by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) is being packaged by the Clarion Events West Africa Limited.
The annual event, the second in the series, according to the President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, would hold from Tuesday, March 14 through Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Lagos, the industrial hub of the country. Jacobs said the event was carved out in response to government’s commitment to industrialisation and its quest to diversify the economy.
Noting that the maiden edition provided a good opportunity for local manufacturers to source direct fund from the Bank of Industry (BoI) to equip their industries, the MAN President added that the expo equally provided a veritable platform for SMEs to learn processes on how to boost their output, reduce cost and drive quality improvement.
He said that 2016’s major feature of CEO/Government Forum tagged, “Manufacturing Partnership for African Development (mPAD)” session co-chaired by MAN and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment would also be prominent at this year’s expo.
“A key aftermath of the 2016 mPAD Forum was the provision of cheaper funding for the industrial sector by BoI. In 2017, the sessions will again give top stakeholders in the private and public sectors opportunity to appraise developments in manufacturing and industry and jointly propose quick-win solutions that will help our country revive it’s manufacturing sector,” he said.
Jacobs said the expo is expected to attract over 3,700 visitors and exhibitors among whom would be members of MAN, including multinationals, large and Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) and other manufacturing equipment distributors from over 120 leading local and international suppliers.
Stressing that the 2017 NME incorporating NIRAM expo would be the most exciting thing to happen to the industrial sector in Nigeria, the MAN President said it would provide opportunities for the large and medium size corporations to retool and get local source of raw materials to boost production and reduce cost and time of procurement.
Representing the Director General of RMRDC, Hussaini Doko Ibrahim, at the event, Dr. Zainab Amanga, said the NIRAM expo, among others, is expected to provide opportunity for synergy among stakeholders in the raw materials value chain aimed at enhancing local raw materials for manufacturing.
“It is geared towards providing a unique platform to showcase the availability of industrial raw materials in the country as well as the efforts of scientists, technologists, engineers and fabricators in raw materials production, processing and utilisation for the benefit of the manufacturing sector of the economy,” she said.
The Managing Director of Clarion Events West Africa, Dele Alimi, explained that the organisation packaged the two expos as part of its contribution to team up with the government to revolutionise the country and project buy made-in-Nigeria as well as reduce dependence on foreign exchange.