The federal government has said it is determined to save the over $45.5 billion being spent by Nigeria yearly to import about 250 million metric tonnes of processed steel and aluminium products in the next few years.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this at the foundation laying ceremony of an integrated steel project owned by Kam Steel Company, an indigenous company in Ilorin, KwaraState, where he said government hopes to realise the objective with investment and support of local steel mills.
He said the 30 existing steel rolling mills in the country have capacity of producing about 6.5 million metric tonnes per annum, out which the 18 of the mills in operation produced 2.8million metric tonnes per annum from melting of metal scraps.
“Yet according to the world steel needs, the global iron and steel estimated demand is $9.6 trillion per annum,” Osinbajo said, adding that the country must be ambitious in its industrialisation effort in this area.
“Indeed, the need for increased levels of investment in these areas has never been more demanding than this time. Steel plays unequivocal roles in the industrialisation and infrastructure plan of the federal government,” the vice president stated.
Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, said the presence of the vice president at the event was a demonstration of the government’s commitment to an economic diversification strategy.
“We want to ensure that we achieve the backward integration that you highlighted in your policy thrust. We are committed to ensuring to put in place import substitution that will reduce the foreign exchange expenditure of the country on import. We are also committed to ensuring that we revive the Ajaokuta Steel plant and we want to work with you in achieving all of these objectives,” the minister said.
Source : dailytrust.com.ng