Dr Oluwatoyin  Akinlade, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, says Nigeria will bridge the gap of substandard local metal products to compete favourably in the global market.

Akinlade, represented by Director Special Duties, Mr Yisau Adepoju of the ministry said this while declaring open Stimulation and Promotion workshop for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the North-West geopolitical zone in Kano.

The permanent secretary made this known in a statement issued by Mrs Etore Thomas, the Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry on Friday in Abuja.

She said that low standard local metal products had adversely affected Nigerian SMEs.

She said that the workshop was aimed at strengthening the growth of SMEs in the sector, sensitise, stimulate and  contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“I am optimistic that the workshop will bridge participants’ gap on production of quality products that will compete favourably in the global market,” she said.

Also, the Acting Director, Steel and Non-Ferrous Metals, Mr Olasupo Kolawole said the vision of the ministry was to ensure that SMEs operators in the metals sector were fully integrated with other stakeholders in the industry.

He urged participants drawn from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa to ensure that the knowledge gained from the seminar propelled the SMEs into higher productivity leading to wealth creation and poverty reduction.