By Palma Ileye
Federal Government in its efforts to actualise the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Administration’s 8-Point Agenda of Renewed Hope has shown its commitment to open new vistas of global cooperation in the steel sector to achieve the industrial revolution of the country.
The Minister of Steel Development Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu stated this during his facility tour of the National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited, NIOMCO, Itakpe, Kogi State.
Audu who was accompanied on the visit by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Mary A Ogbe and some prospective foreign investors from the United States of America, Russia, and United Arab Emirates, applauded the President for his vision in creating a new Ministry that was solely focused on the Steel Development for the industrialization and infrastructural development of the nation.
He added that steel development was critical for the Forth Industrial Revolution of the country.
He disclosed that ensuring that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 8-Point Agenda of job creation, poverty alleviation, attracting foreign direct investment and tackling insecurity would be easily achievable if the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and the National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited, Itakpe is resuscitated.
He revealed that Itakpe has iron ore deposits that has hug potentials to feed the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for years.
He noted that reviving Ajaokuta and Itakpe has a significant role in the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present Administration.
Furthermore, the Minister revealed that some components of the CNG gas cylinders can be produced in Ajaokuta, stating that the Ministry would send a recommendation to seek the President’s approval for Ajaokuta to begin to produce some of the components that would be used for the production of CNG cylinders.
He said that the production of these components locally would help to reduce the cost of installing CNG gas cylinders.
Additionally, Audu disclosed that some foreign direct investors have shown interest in the Multi- Billion Ajaokuta and Itakpe projects; a very good reason why the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Steel Development was committed to ensuring it looks at all the options to get Ajaokuta and Itakpe working again.
Earlier, the Sole Administrator of the National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited, NIOMCO,
Mr. A.C Nkechika, while emphasing the need for Nigeria to be part of the huge demand for iron ore market in Africa, stated that the visit of the Honourable Minister of Steel Development, soon after he assumed office, was an indication that Nigeria is on an upward trajectory to bringing the Renewed Hope Agenda to the people.
Nkechika noted however, that some critical issues needed to be addressed for the country to fully harness the immense potentials that can be derived from the Steel Sector.
Also speaking, the Executive Chairman of Okene Local Government Area, Hon. Abdulraheem Ohiare Ozovehe said the development of the Steel industry in the country would greatly help to curb insecurity in the community and environs and therefore solicited Federal Government’s support to ensure they carry the host community along, adding that they are a peace loving people.