By Palma Ileye
Minister of State, Ministry of Steel Development, Uba Maigari Ahmadu has revealed that in its efforts to develop and reposition the Steel Sector for maximum utilisation of the nation’s ore in line with the present adminstration’s keenness to grow the sector, the Ministry was ready to explore and encourage local content to develop the Steel Sector.
Ahmadu according to the Ministry’s press release stated this while appearing on “Good Morning Nigeria” on NTA Tuesday, 19th December 2023 in Abuja.
He noted that it was very crucial to focus on strategies that will promote local participation and investment in the steel industry with a view to reducing the country’s dependence on imports, create employment opportunities, and boosting economic growth, adding that the importance of the steel sector to any nation’s infrastructural development can not be overemphasized.
According to him, the Nigerian Steel sector has faced numerous challenges, including inadequate infrastructure, policy inconsistencies, and limited access to finance and technology, which he said have hindered the sector from reaching its full potential, and making the country to continue to rely heavily on imported steel products.
He however, disclosed that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Steel Development was engaging various proactive strategies to ensure encouragement of both local and foreign participation in the sector for the development of the country.
He enumerated the strategies the Ministry was employing to include: Policy Support; Access to finance; Technology Transfer and Capacity Building; Infrastructure Development; Research and Development among others, he noted that these strategies when fully actualized would bring a positive leap to the industry.
He said, “It is imperative to prioritize policies and initiatives that promote local participation and investment in the steel industry, as implementing these strategies outlined would help to harness the full potential of the nation’s steel sector and contribute to the country’s industrialization and economic development.”
The Minister reiterated that the Ministry was committed to effectively position Nigeria as a prime investment destination, fostering partnerships that are poised to drive sustainable economic development and prosperity in the country.
The Executive Secretary/CEO Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission NIPC, Aisha Rimi who also appeared on the programme, assured of the Commission’s commitment to ensure all assistance is given to the Steel Sector to promote direct foreign investment into the country. Stating that it was the Commission’s mandate to provide assistance to investors seeking to come into Nigeria.
Also, on the show was a representative of India Steel Company, Jindal Steel in Nigeria, Mukesh Sharma, who expressed his Company’s readiness to build a world Class Deep Sea Port Steel Plant in Nigeria worth over five billion dollars.
Other discussants were Faruq Aliyu Niger Extraction as well as Dr Emeka ekengwu, a Mines and Steel Expert.