The Non-Metallic Mineral Products Sectoral Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has entered into partnership with the Raw Material Research And Development Council (RMRDC) to procure raw materials locally as part of c efforts to revamp the nation’s manufacturing sector.
The MAN Sectoral Chairman, Afam Mallinson Ukatu, who doubles as the MD/CEO, NISPO Porcelain Coy Ltd noted that this partnership was sealed during an interactive meeting with RMRDC recently in Lagos. He pointed out that the partnership will help in sourcing for alternative raw materials for the sector.
According to Ukatu “The decision was necessary, given the paucity foreign exchange, difficulties experienced at the port, high cost of foreign raw materials and the fluctuating value of the Naira with the recent soar in inflation rate. Non-Metallic and Mineral Products Sectorial Group of MAN consists of industries that produce Glass, Cement, Ceramic, Chalk, Crayon, Lime and other allied products.”
“The sector has experienced a quantum leap in its activities in the last 5 years thereby contributing significantly to the diversification of the economy which is in-line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) initiative of the Government.”
The Chairman said, it was gratifying to note that the sub sectors such as the Cement, Glass, Ceramics have recorded huge improvements leading to significant contribution to the national GDP in the last 3-5years. He decried the restraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, adding that scarcity of FOREX gave rise to acute shortage of raw materials as well as intermediate inputs.
“It was in this regard that the sector unanimously agreed to look inward and source their raw materials locally. And as such, acknowledged RMRDC as the appropriate agency to handle this issue, owing to the pre-existing relationship with MAN and previous research efforts in ensuring ease of sourcing raw materials for cement, ceramic and glass products in Nigeria.” He said.
In his presentation, titled, “The efforts of RMRDC in the development of raw materials for the Non-metallic Minerals sector with reference to cement, ceramics and glass,” the Director, PPDD, RMRDC, disclosed various locations of some of the major raw materials that are used in the non-metallic and mineral products sector.
According to him most breakthroughs of RMRDC in the non-metallic minerals sector are; “Development of scrubber for the beneficiation of gypsum in the cement industry. The equipment which was test run and met the specification of 85-90% purity, a standard required by cement and POP industries. “This has ensured import substitution of POP by 15-20%. Physico-chemical characterization of limestone deposits across the country, development of calciner to produce calcined kaolin with capacity of 10 tonnes.”
“This has been patented and a pilot plant has been installed at RMRDC model demonstration center, NASREA, Abuja. Establishment of pharmaceutical grade kaolin plant at Kankara, Katsina state and industrial grade kaolin plant located in Gwarzo, Kano State; both of which has catalyzed the proliferation of many cottage level kaolin processing plants in Katsina and Kano state. Development of high and low temperature ceramic glazes from locally available raw materials and technical and economic feasibility studies of local production of glaze.”