The urgent need to develop the nation’ s minerals and metals sector that would serve as catalyst in diversifying the country mono-product economy has been re-emphasized.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu”azu, stated this while declaring open the third phase of the second edition of the Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Stakeholders’ Forum held on 24th to 25th June, 2019 at Metallurgical Development Center, Jo’s, Plateau State.
Dr. Mu’azu who was represented by the Director, Reforms Coordination and Service Improvement, Mr. Zacchaeus Atte, said that the development of the Steel and other metals is unarguably remained the bedrock of industrialization, sustainable growth and development of the nation.
In his words: “Virtually everything we use today either has components of metals or is produced using metallic equipment.”
According to him, it is in this regard that the administration of President MuhammPix
Buhari is poised to create enabling environment for metallurgical operators and all other allied metal outfits in the sector with a view to creating jobs and wealth for national prosperity.
The part of efforts include development of Roadmap for the sector, collaboration with all relevant government agencies, recovery and re-operation of ASCL, Ajaokuta; NIOMCO, Itakpe; DSCL, Aladja and ALSCON, among others, taken to reposition the sector to attain its pride of place as the bedrock of industrialization, he said.
The Forum, with the theme: ‘Repositioning the Nigeria Minerals and Metals Sector into a Destination for Job creation and National Prosperity’, was geared toward engaging with metal operators in the Noth-central geopolitical zone for informed participation in the drive to develop the minerals and metals sector.
Giving overview of the metal sector, Director, Metallurgical Inspectorate and Raw Materials Development, Mr. Victor Ihebinike, noted that policy formulation as regards the establishment of the Metallurgical industry generally envisaged on the availability of local raw material input.
He said the failure in the past governments to develop the metal sector was “attributed to our inability to do the right things at the right time.”
However, he said the ministry has been working assiduously towards the enactment of the Nigerian Metallurgical Industry Bill that would drive effective regulation in the sector.
“The Federal Government is encouraging metal sector operators, especially local producers of metallurgical miners towards ensuring local beneficiation of metallurgical raw materials in Nigeria in order to put an end to the ‘dig it and ship it’ syndrome”, he said.
In the goodwill messages, the various speakers bemoaned the failure of successive governments to develop the metal sector. They nevertheless commended efforts being made by the present administration to reposition the steel and metal sector.