Abuja (Ministry of Mines and Steel Development) – The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwar, visited the Ladi Kwali Pottery Center in Suleja, Niger State with a World Bank team led by Noora Arfa recently.
During his visit, the Minister who was represented by the Director of Steel in the Ministry, Mr Ime Ekrikpo recounted the impact the centre had made in the lives of Nigerians in terms of empowerment but regretted the pathetic state of the centre owing to neglect.
He revealed that there is an ongoing tripartite collaboration between the federal government of Nigeria; Niger state government and the World Bank to ensure that the centre not only regains its lost glory but operates in line with international best practices. He further reiterated government’s commitment to resuscitate the centre so that it can serve as centre of excellence in pottery and modern ceramic works in Africa.
According him, Pottery Arts in Ahmadu Bello University, Ceramics Industry Kaduna, Modern Ceramics Umuahia were said to have their roots to Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre. He continued that the history of Student’s Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and the ceramics industries cannot be completed without tracing their origin to Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre.
The Coordinator of Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MINDIVER), Mr Linus Adie, in his speech, appreciated the World Bank Task Team, he also assured that MINDIVER has done a lot of research work on how to revitalize the centre and that his team is ever ready to contribute their quota in reviving the center.
Malam Shehu Lawal who represented the Commissioner of Investment, Commerce and Cooperative in Niger State, commended the passion the FG and World Bank have shown in their desire to bring the centre back to life. He pledged the state’s readiness to prepare an enabling environment for the hitch-free take off of the project.