Posted by News Express | 29 September 2018 | 1,102 times
Professor of Ceramics and Industrial Art, Okpan Kalu Oyeoku, has lamented the liquidation of ceramics industries in Nigeria despite the existence of abundant raw materials and high demand of ceramics products in the country.
Delivering the 143rd Inaugural Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Thursday, Professor Oyeoku said that in the past 15 years, ceramics industries in Nigeria had gone moribund in drove as if they were plagued by an unabated epidemic.
Among the liquidated companies, according to Oyeoku, included Quality Ceramics, Uyo; Modern Ceramics, Umuahia; Ceramics Manufacturers, Kano; Richware Ceramics, Lagos, while Plateau Ceramics was stillborn.
He said the companies folded up despite the fact that 100 per cent of their raw materials could be sourced locally.
“Furthermore, the trouble with Nigerian ceramics cannot be anchored on technical or technological handicap because the industry can be sustained on low level technology,” the Don said.
Oyeoku identified lack of favourable industrial climate and harsh government policies regarding land acquisition, sourcing of capital base and patronage as setbacks to the growth of ceramics industries in the country.
He further blamed the woes of the industry on poor management resulting from over employment of administrative staff and bureaucratic interference which affects the production and distribution of ceramic products.
Oyeoku however identified Nigergrob and Royal Ceramics as among the few ceramic industries that were still in business. “This is probably because they are run by Chinese and Indians and not Nigerians,” Oyeoku cited as the reason for their survival.
The don, who spoke on the topic; “Growing the Ceramic industry in Nigeria” called on all stakeholders, including the government, entrepreneurs, ceramists industrial chemists and engineers, to urgently initiate a rescue oppression that would save the surviving industries from collapse and revive the moribund ones.
While commending the government for setting up raw materials research centres across the country which has helped in the development of ceramics technology, Oyeoku called on the government to exempt young ceramics industries from paying company tax for the first five years of operation to allow the companies stabilize and amortise investment loans.
“Government should not narrow the local content law enforcement to oil industry but should extend it to all areas of development including the Ceramics industry where 100% local content input is available,” he added
Further, the ceramics expert called for a synergy between universities, research institutions and the ceramics industry in order to harness the potentials of the ceramics industry.
“What we go to India to import, we have here in Nigeria; but massive importation is still going on because there is a missing link between the industries and the universities and the research institutes,” Oyeoku said while explaining that Nigeria had spent over six hundred million dollar in the importation of ceramics in 2018.
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