FG pledges support for local marble, granite producers
By Musa Adamu
Serious local investors and producers of high quality marble and granite products and local contents would be supported by the federal government to scale up their production.
Minister of state for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, dropped the hint during a tour of OFL Fujian Stones Marble and Dimension Stones factory in Mararaba, Nasarawa state.
The Minister who was at the company as part of the nation-wide tour of mining sites and host communities said government was impressed not only by the high quality of the company’s products and its capacity to contribute to a significant reduction of the country’s importation of about four to five million square meters of granite products annually.
He assured that any organization that demonstrated the kind of progress witnessed at the company would be encouraged through the facilities that would be available for sector players’ access.
He said: “We have been giving all our local investors moral support, we want to start giving them financial support, to enable them increase their capacity and productivity. This is a good example. We can attest to the significant progress this company has made since our first visit last year.
“Many of such serious investors would benefit from the intervention fund and the world bank loan, once they apply and meet all requirements. Through this we hope to bridge the importation gap and work towards self sufficiency.”
He also urged the company to ensure that Nigerian workers in the company were well trained and positioned to become experts in the field, thereby reducing overdependence on expatriates.
Managing Director/CEO of Fujian Stones, Engr. Makoji Aduku, attributed the success of the company to the enabling environment created by the ministry of mines and steel development for local investors and mining operators.
He also said the sincerity of the Chinese partners who brought in state of the art technology and machinery and a well trained workforce which he said could replace the expatriates in the near future, was responsible for the success recorded.
He said the company was projecting a million square meters production mark in the nearest future and solicited government patronage of their stones which he described as among the best in the world.
He said the company was investing on its indigenous workforce to ensure knowledge transfer which would also aid their future expansion plans.
Aduku lauded the present Buy-Made-in-Nigeria campaign of the federal government, which he said the ministry was championing.
He said the campaign had also helped to boost patronage of locally produced dimension and industrial stones.