By Charles Nwaoguji
In bid to make locally sourced raw materials available in Nigeria for local manufacturers, Manufacturers Association Nigeria (MAN) and Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) is organizing expo.
According the President of MAN, engr. Engr. Mansur Ahmed, the Expo would impact on the industrial sector and the economy at large, both organizations deemed it necessary to build on success so far and present an improved Expo this year which would be highly beneficial to all participants.
Ahmed, who disclosed this at Press briefing held recently in Lagos, said that this year’s Manufacturing and Equipment Expo (NME)/NIRAM Expo is unique in many ways as one of its striking new features is the direct collaboration between MAN and RMRDC to sustain the running of the EXPO after the exit of Clarion Events West Africa as event organizers.
He noted that the Expo now widely considered as the leading and most comprehensive event which encompasses every aspect of the manufacturing value chain has this year been designed to address pertinent concerns for the eventual takeoff of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) come July this year.
He said that the Expo which was initiated as a response to the government’s commitment to industrialization and Nigeria’s need to diversify the economy has so far been fulfilling the core of its mandate as attested by participants who constantly make the international manufacturing and equipment gathering a priority event.
He stressed that the theme for this year is: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Nigerian Manufacturing sector”. The theme is instructive at a time like this as it is pertinent for stakeholders to critically discuss how to tap into the opportunities the Fourth Industrial Revolution presents at the same time remaining competitive in a fast-developing industrial space.
The MAN boss stated that the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as Blockchain; Internet of Things; Machine Learning; Artificial Intelligence; Driverless car and Augmented Realty, among others, would dictate the pace of development among nations.
“Therefore, the need to start using technology to produce our own food, products and other indigenous innovations becomes imperative so that we do not end up dependent on developed countries. One must also not lose focus from latching on locally sourced raw materials and other support facilities like the needed financing and logistics services which will be central to our engagement from March 10-12, 2020 at Landmark Event Centre, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos,” he said.
He called on Medium and Small manufacturing organizations to take advantage of this year’s edition to explore new production processes that will increase production output, reduce costs, improve product quality and diversify into new products.
He stated that in line with our previous practice, the NME will run side by side with a conference on Manufacturing Partnership for African Development (mPAD), a strategic gathering for thought leaders in the manufacturing sector, policy makers and government regulatory agencies to discuss solutions for existing challenges and carve out ideas for growth and development of the manufacturing sector.
He said that on the sideline, Raw Material Research &Development Council (RMRDC) will host master classes on latest research findings delivered by carefully selected resource persons.
Speaking at the event, the Director General/CEO of Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Professor Hussaini D. Ibrahim said that Nigerian Raw Materials Expo (NIRAM) Expo was conceived in 2012 to create a unique platform where manufacturers could seamlessly source for the much needed raw materials and benefit from research and development breakthroughs, which is very rare given the nation’s fragile industrial architecture.
Ibrahim stated that NIRAM Expo has therefore brought about sustainable balance of resource-based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) having access to current research and development findings from the nation’s reservoir of knowledge.
On the achievements of NIRAM Expo on the national economy, he said this has created awareness on agricultural and mineral resources for which the country endowed and has comparative advantage in value addition such as cassava, maize, sorghum, limestone, gypsum, tropical fruits, kaolin, phosphate, iron and steel, etc as well as the noticeable increase incapacity utilization of many manufacturing industries under the 10 sectors of MAN, particularly those in Food, Beverages & Tobacco Sector, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sector, Basic metal, iron & steel & Fabricated metal sector, Pulp, paper & paper products, printing & publishing sector among others.
He called on investors to advantage of this expo and exhibit their products and services.