Federal government advised on new measure for steel development in Nigeria

The Federal government has been advised to adopt the model used by the People’s Republic of China where the Iron and Steel industries are indigenised.

The Chairman, Basic Metal Fabricated Iron and Steel products, Dr Kamoru Yusuf, gave the advice on Thursday at a meeting of shareholders in the Iron and steel industry, in Ilorin organised by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

He said the Chinese model allows the government to only hold marginal interest while the majority interests were committed to the hands of indigenous investors, which later transformed the country’s steel industry within 25 years leading to the massive development of the industrial sector in China.

” If indigenous investors are given the chance to resuscitate Ajaokuta Steel Industry, we are assured that the capital and proceeds would remain here and will be re-invested into our economy,” he added.

Dr Kamoru, further tasked the Federal government to take counsel from existing players in the steel industry with wide experience in the field.

He said investment in the Iron and Steel business is capital intensive with huge risks, hence, the Federal government should take a cue from its developed counterparts.

He said the policy shift if implemented, would among other things complement the backward integration policy of the government, which seeks to preserve Nigeria’s foreign exchange and create employment for millions of Nigerians directly and indirectly.

Dr Kamoru, said it will also minimise the brain drain to foreign countries in the name of ‘search for greener pasture’, especially among the teeming youths.

In his speech, Adewale Bakare, Director in the Federal Ministry of Industry, said, the stakeholders meeting was necessitated by the ongoing effort of the ministry at repositioning the iron and steel sector through the development of workable policies and strategies for the growth and development of the sector.

He hoped the wealth of experiences of the stakeholders in the various areas of the sector, will be of paramount importance as the ministry x-rays the challenges confronting the iron and steel sector.

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