Minister Advocates Growth Of Nigeria’s Steel Industry
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Abubakar Bwari, has said a vibrant steel industry is the biggest driver for Nigeria’s economy.
This, Bwari stated while declaring open a 2-day National Steel Summit 2018 with theme, ‘Diversification of the Nigerian economy – the Indispensable Role of the Steel Industry’ that was held in Lagos.
Bwari added that the government was bent on diversification, while lamenting that the country was behind in key areas like industrialization, whereas many other contries term “Third world” countries have become industrialized.
He said: “Considering the fact that the consumption rate of steel and other metal products is regarded as a major index of industrialization, it is obvious that Nigeria is seriously lagging behind, even by the standard of developing nations”, he further explained.
“Indeed, considering the versatility of steel as an industrial material, Nigeria could easily join the comity of steel producing nations if our abundant iron ore resources are effectively harnessed to produce crude steel.”
The Minister said, “We have made great progress in resolving the legal issues surrounding the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, similarly, Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, we have made significant progress in our effort to bring the company back to life with the approval of the National Council on Privatisation that Messrs UC Rusal be restated as core investor.”
He noted that the ministry had so far remitted about N3billion to the federation account, this year, adding that in the last three years, the revenue generated by the ministry had improved drastically.
“When we came in, in 2015, our contribution to the federation account was just merely N700million, in terms of royalties, but today we can proudly say we have gone above N3billion.
“The National Bureau of Statistics says it was the attention that has been given to the steel sector that has kept it growing. Even under recession, we are not there yet but we believe we will get there,” he said.