Don advocates exploitation of solid minerals for industrialisation
A Nigerian Professor of Ceramic Engineering, Prof. Egwakhide Patrick Oaikhinan, has lamented growing skills gap and continued neglect of critical solid mineral resources in the country describing such actions as undermining the nation’s industrial revolution plan.
According to him, Nigeria needs an industrial national conference where experts in various industrial sectors in the country would strategically define measures to grow its solid mineral resources as well as implement such strategies.
Speaking recently in Lagos, Oaikhinan said the industrial national conference would also help to correct the errors of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) by tackling the challenges from the root.
“Nigeria currently has an industrial revolution plan but the question is who were those that designed the revolution plan? It appears that in Nigeria, we find answers to our questions from the solution not examining the problem before getting the answer. To ensure that the plans work, we are supposed to call experts in Metrology, in Ceramics, Mechanical engineers, Strategic policy experts, Lawyers, Civil engineers among other to come together and look at issues in the industrial sector specifically and critically and design a measure to develop our natural resources”, he said.
He stated further, “I am currently the only professor of Ceramic engineering in Nigeria, if you say you design industrial revolution plan for the country and an expert like me in a key industry is not even aware nor invited, which revolution are you talking about? Who designed it, politicians or who?”
Oaikhinan said the automotive and power industries would succeed better if the ceramic industry was well developed, adding that both sectors require very large amount of ceramic materials to function appropriately.
“For instance, there are 50 ceramic components in a vehicle and if there must be a made-in-Nigeria vehicle, assembling wholly imported material components means no improvement for the country, besides, doing that puts the nation into serious trouble,” Oaikhinan said.
He stressed that there must be an enabling environment where everybody could be a player as well as an environment that supports local manufacturers in the training of their employees so that they have required skills to produce high quality products that will cope with competitors.
Lamenting over the huge amount of money the nation spends on the importation of electrical porcelain insulator and other ceramic products, Oaikhinan said, “importation of ceramic products in the country, currently stands at about $600 billion and this has taken undue advantage of local production even as the global ceramic market was projected to hit about $418 billion in 2018.
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