The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamelakan Adegbite has urged Metal Operators in the country to work towards charting way forward for the ailing Metal industry in order to ensure economic growth, industrialization, and the attendant job creation and wealth generation.

He made this known, yesterday, while declaring open the 2nd Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Stakeholders Forum (MISF), 2019 on Engagement with the North-West Geopolitical Zone, in Kaduna.

Arc. Adegbite, who was represented at the occasion by his Senior Assistant (Media), Mr Ayo Adeniyi, expressed optimism that the forum with the theme: “Repositioning the Metal Sector for National Development and Economic Diversification”, will yield resolutions and suggestions that will attract the needed attention to the sector and guide the government in its policies for the development of the sector.

He said Government is aware of the key role of the metal sector in growing the economy, hence the Ministry’s strive to reposition it through organization of stakeholders’ forum to brainstorm on enhancing the sector; launching of the Roadmap for the development of the Mining and Metal sector.

Logically processing the return of Russians for the completion, rehabilitation and operation of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, expected to be active before the end of the present Administration; among other policies.

The Minister, therefore, called on local and foreign investors to utilize the investment opportunities in the Metallurgical sector to ensure its growth, assuring them of friendly and enabling environment.

He used the occasion to inaugurate the North-West Executives of the Metallurgical Operators Association of Nigeria, which has Mr. George Onyeacholam as the Chairman and Mr. Haruna Leko as the Secretary General.

The Minister, among other things, charged the members to immensely contribute to the growth of the industry to enable the country attain greater heights for the betterment of the citizenry.

In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, who was represented by the Acting Director (Special Duties), Mr. Olayiwola Adebayo, called on all participants at the workshop to share their experiences in the Metal Sector towards rebuilding the Metal industry in order to fully maximize its potentials for economic growth.

He noted that with renewed zeal and synergized commitment for development in the Metal sector, the desired jobs for the teeming population and economic diversification will be realized.

Dr. Mu’azu wished that the decisions reached at the Seminar will no doubt go a long way towards projecting the fortunes of the Metals sector to the next level.

In his own contribution, the Director, Metallurgical Inspectorate & Raw Materials Development (MI & RMD) Department, Mr. Victor Ihebinike, also encouraged all stakeholders to support the efforts of Government to revitalize the metal sector for national prosperity.

He assured that before the end of the present 9th Assembly, the Nigerian Metallurgical Industry Bill, which will enable the Federal Government create conducive business environment that will emphasize quality and standards sufficient to attract investment is expected to be passed as an Act and assented by the President because the Ministry has put in place all machinery toward the arrangement.

The two – day forum (17th – 18th, December), which has in attendance operators from the North-West Zone, other stakeholders and dignitaries, also comprised paper presentations, brainstorming of syndicate groups to initiate ideas that will improve the sector, panel discussion and issuance of Communique by Rapporteurs.