Behind the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna State is located a gigantic industrial village, Panteka Market. The name ‘Panteka’ rings bell because it is a popular and well known place where everything can be fabricated, except human being.
Infact, the perception of many about the market is whatever goes into panteka market, within a blink of an eye, can hardly be recognized or identified by even the owner if care is not taken simply because it can be converted into any form and put to use for special made things.
This is because people who work here are talented persons who do not see the four walls of the classroom but are gifted to turn waste products into something more unique and special.
Panteka Market houses artisans involved in different crafts, including carpentry, aluminum windows, roofs and metal doors, gold smiting, building materials, traditional medicine and herbs, key cutting, paints sellers, chemicals for perfume and soap making to mention but a few.
In fact, across the African region people come from as far as Mali, Senegal and Chad to buy products made in this market.
Household materials ranging from candle, candle stands, kerosene lamps, cooking stoves, utensils to industrial materials like shovels, rakes, diggers and working tools are produced in the market. It was also gathered that, automobile parts are produced in the market.
No doubt that the Market is an employer of labour as it has employed hundreds of youths and will continue to employ youths who have nothing doing.
Today, youths employed by this market are earning a living even though the reward they get in return is less compared to the labour put in and hazards of the job.
Ahmed Modibbo, 30-year- old, is an aluminum pots fabricator, who says he is happy with the job he is doing at the moment but can do more if only the government will support them.
According to him, “As you can see, this work is dangerous and risky. We gather waste products of aluminum material, like soft drink cans, deodorant containers and wires among others and melt them into liquid.
“It is compulsory to subject the aluminum to constant heat. So, we have a fanning system made with bike wheel, which is connected with pipe to the melting pot. When the fire gets to the highest degree, the aluminum will start melting into liquid and dripping into a container kept under the pot through a hole. Sometimes, we have accident, if one is not careful, some of the insecticides or deodorant cans we put in fire do explode and injure us.
“But, if we get protective jackets and industrial wears from government, the accident will certainly reduce. So, with government’s support, there is nothing we cannot produce in this market.”
Modibbo said the greatest challenge they face in the job is lack of support from government, arguing that, “countries like Singapore, China and Japan are industrial giants today because of efforts of craftsmen like us. Unfortunately, our own government lays emphasis on paper qualification and not productivity.”
His plea to the government is to create an enabling environment for craftsmen to strive in their creative world and support them through provision of working tools and protective wears, which would help reduce accidents in their work.
Indeed, Panteka is an untapped goldmine for Nigeria which the government is yet to put to use the resources harnessed in the market. The earlier the government realizes the importance of the market in terms of contributing to the growth of the nation’s economy the better, observers say.
They argue that government should partner with the market by providing them with working tools and assisting in terms of packaging of products from the market to attract buyers of products fabricated in the market to attract greater patronage.

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