The Federal Government has inaugurated a Ministerial Technical Committee on the formulation of a framework for sustainable development and growth of the Metals Industry in Nigeria as part of the on-going efforts to diversify the economy from dependence on Oil and Gas.
Inaugurating the Committee Members today, 3rd March, 2020, in his office in Abuja, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, stated that the Committee could not have come at a more auspicious time than now when the Federal Government and all concerned Stakeholders are working assiduously towards diversifying our mono- product economy by de-emphasizing dependence on oil and Gas while focusing more on the non – oil sectors , especially the Minerals and Metals Sector of the economy.
He noted that Metals industry is unarguably the bedrock of industrialization and the key ingredient for sustainable growth and development of any nation. “Virtually everything we use today either has components of metals or produced using metallic equipment,” he said.
The Minister, represented by the Director, Artisanal and Small – Scale Mining Department, Mr Patrick Ojeka, reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in creating enabling environment for the growth and development of the Metals Industry with a view to diversify the economy, increase revenue generation, create employment and reduce poverty in Nigeria.
The Minister noted that the Ministry constituted the Technical Committee not only to develop a framework and articulate some sustainable programmes that would boost the industry but also to have a second perusal at the Draft Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Bill as well as the Regulations therefrom.
He enjoined members of the Committee to bring their wealth of experiences to bear, as well as their natural comparative advantage towards rebuilding the ailing Metals Industry to enable us utilize locally available mineral raw materials that Nigeria is endowed with for economic diversification.
In his acceptance remarks, the Chairman of the 13- Member Committee, Director, Metallurgical Inspectorate and Raw Material Development (MI&RMD) Department, Mr. Victor Ihebinike, on behalf of the members, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for its determination to develop the Metals Sector.
He assured the Minister that the Committee will work assiduously to justify the confidence reposed on them.