We train over 50 youth on metal works each year – Absa’u MD

Alhaji Umar Abubakar is the Managing Director of Absa’u Metal Works and Fabrication Limited, Gombe. In this interview with Chamba Simeh on the celebration of 11 11th anniversary of the company, the Madawakin Gombe explains how the welding company has fared over the years. He says that it manufactures water storage facilities of 2 million litres capacity. He also speaks on how the firm trained teeming youths in the state on welding and metal works. Excerpts

Q: You are celebrating 11 years of your company, tell us how you started.

A: The company was established about 15 years ago. But we are now celebrating 11 years of incorporation. It is a welding company. I had been into welding since when I was a child. The coy fabricates metal windows, doors, car shades, water storage and underground tanks that can contain from 10 litres up to 2 million litres. We also make fuel underground tanks for filling stations. In fact, we even make roofs for filling stations and we make the entire filling stations.

Welding profession is related to technology and invention. At times, you will be asked to manufacture something new. For instance, we can fabricate 50 kinds of windows. They can be of the same sizes but in different designs. Our company is based in Gombe, but we work for people even outside the state. We have clients in other parts of the country.

Q: How has the company fared over the years?

A: We give thanks to God that Absa’u is popular welding giant in Gombe and other parts of the country.

Q: Does the company contribute in the area of providing jobs to the youths of Gombe?

A: Absa’u is a job trainer. It complements government’s effort in providing jobs to youth. We recruit some of them right from primary schools and they remain with us up to the time they finish universities. There are also those who did not go to school but we admit and train them. We have workers who specialize in different fields like, civil work, welding and supervisors. So far, we have employed not less than 100 people as permanent employees in addition to casual workers in the company. We have also graduated not fewer than 50 people who are now independent.

We work in various parts of the country even in the south east. Sometimes we move with our equipment out of Gombe for three to four years with up to 30 workers.

Q: What is the level of patronage by the government?

A: Not much as we do not rely on them. However, we pay taxes as at when due. Of course, government do give us work to do from time to time. But we hope their patronage will improve to boost the state’s economy which, of course, will reduce poverty.

Q: What is your vision and target for the company?

A: I hope to establish branches of Absa’u all over Nigeria so that we can help bring sustainable development to the nation. There is no gainsaying the fact that functional industries boost the economy of a country. Even here in Gombe, we help grow its economy. If there are such industries, poverty will reduce drastically among the people. We do hope that in the next 10 years, we will be major trainers of skills to youths all over the country. I believe that if government supports us, it is is possible.

I challenge the youth in Gombe to embrace entrepreneurship and skills so that they can be self-reliant and avoid engaging in illicit activities.

Q: How do you recruit into the company?

A: We recruit trainees on yearly basis. We train at least 50 every year free of charge. We give them transportation allowances and stipends through out their training.

Q: What are your major challenges?

A: You know basically what every industrialist and entrepreneur needs is power, because sustainable power supply is the driving force for people like us. Therefore, our major challenge is that of electricity supply. Also, security is another challenge. You can’t work in areas where there are security challenges especially the Northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. We do work there but certainly with fear and apprehension.

A: In our society today, what one appreciates the most is being recognised by the community you are living in and the traditional title of Madawakin Gombe was given to me by our revered royal father, HRH Alh. Abubakar Shehu Abubakar, the Emir of Gombe. It’s indeed a honour done to me and my entire family and also a challenge to do more in giving back to the society. I’m eternally indebted to the emir and the state as a whole.

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