Nigeria Imports $600m Pottery Products Annually, FG Says
Nigeria imports pottery products worth $600m annually, the Federal Government has said.
The Coordinator, Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification, Mr Linus Adie, disclosed this on Saturday while conducting World Bank Task Team Leader, Nura Arfaa, round the dilapidated Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre, Suleja, Niger State.
Adie said that despite the great path that Nigeria had established in the pottery industry and the abundance of ceramic raw materials, the country imported more than 80 per cent of its pottery needs.
He said that the revival of the Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre would impact skills in youths, create jobs and boost the economy as it would help to achieve the diversification objective of the Federal Government.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Bawa Bwari, pledged the commitment of the Federal Government in alliance with the World Bank to revive the pottery industry.
Bwari, who was represented by the Director of Steel, Mr Imeh Ekrikpo, said the pottery industry would also play a major role in the tourism industry by creating special aesthetic, ornamental and decoration products to adorn the nation’s various tourism centres and public buildings.
He said, “The Federal Government shall upgrade the centre (Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre) to meet the demands of contemporary modern pottery production which is expected to harness the abundant mineral resources requirements of the industry available locally.
“This is expected to engage the ever-rising number of youths meaningfully through value addition processes of the industry and generate wealth for the nation.”
Bwari added, “The centre will add value to our mineral resources like kaolin, quartz, feldspar, cobalt, manganese, tin, dolomite, talc etc. to service the Nigerian market, generate employment, and update our native craftsmanship to compete with global eco-system as well as conserve foreign exchange for the country.
“I wish to reiterate the importance of availing ourselves this great opportunity to recreate and re-brand the pottery industry in Nigeria. I call on all Nigerians to support this initiative to reassure our development partners, the World Bank, that we are determined to restore the pottery industry to the glorious past and even beyond the achievements of the golden era.”
The minister said that currently, a significant volume of pottery imports into Nigeria came from China and India adding that the revival of the local pottery industry would reverse the trend and eventually help to earn the country foreign exchange.
The Chief Executive Officer and Master Potter, Dajo Pottery Limited, Mr Levi Yakubu, who received training at the Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre, traced many ceramics businesses across the country to the centre.