RMRDC Trains Bauchi Council Chairmen on Cluster Technology
The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has said it trained chairmen of the 20 Local Government Areas in Bauchi State on cluster technology as part of efforts to fast-track industrial development of the state. The council’s Coordinator in the State, Mallam Ahmed Waziri disclosed this to journalists in Bauchi shortly after a summit on Raw-material-based cluster technology organised for the council chairmen in collaboration with the Bauchi State Ministry of Local Government Affairs. Waziri said the chairmen were sensitised on the importance of clusters technology in industrial development and how to go about its formation. He explained that cluster entailed the geographical concentration of various industries that produced similar product, using common raw materials or mineral resources as input. According to him, as custodian of the wealth in their localities, the council chairmen could easily identify key mineral resources available to them. “This measure is preparatory to plans to deploy Ward-Based Cluster Technology Programme (WBCTP) to all the wards of the 774 local government areas in the country, to drive industrialization at local government level”, he said. He further stated that with the support of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, each resource identified in all the local government areas, would be clustered to encourage the evolution of a business community that would proliferate and thrive easily. Director, Cluster Development Department of the council, Mrs. Hajara Tanko, also said a cluster-based strategy had proved to be effective in ensuring the socio-economic development of rural areas. She explained that the goal was to transform Nigeria into a major producer and exporter of value-added products and generate employment, thereby addressing poverty at the grassroots. According to her, “the technology has the potential of stimulating rapid economic growth by facilitating home-grown industrialisation through the development of none-oil sector. “The raw material-based cluster strategy is a strategy developed by the council to ensure the maximum sourcing of raw material through value addition. “It is only through this that industries can have sustainable supply of the much needed raw materials for their production.” She said that the chairmen of the respective local government councils would be expected to identify the competitive resources found in their respective areas and key into them. “They could do so by getting entrepreneurs that will develop the identified resources and then provide them (entrepreneurs) with the necessary policy and enabling environment.” Meanwhile, Bauchi State’s supervising Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hajiya Talatu Barwa, has thanked Raw Materials Council for the initiative. She explained that it was in recognition of the role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as the engine of socio-economic transformation that the ministry sought the support of RMRDC to train the council chairmen on cluster formation. The federal government had in January, announced plans to cushion the effects of dwindling OIL PRICES on Nigerian economy, through diversification of the economy using RMRDC’s (WBCTP) across the 774 local government areas in the country.