FG moves to end $4bn annual losses to steel importation


Steel Plant at Ajaokuta Steel Company.


The Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaib Audu Abubakar says the administration has taken strategic steps to address over four billion annual losses to steel importation currently suffered by the country, adding that Nigeria needs no less than ten mega steel plants to address its steel development needs.

Prince Shuaib, who gave the assurance at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said his ministry will execute a three-year strategic development plan for the revitalization of Ajaokuta Steel Company, adding that it will address various challenges bedeviling the production of steel in the country.

While saying that Nigeria has more than 90 percent of natural resources needed for steel production, he lamented that the country imports $4bn worth of steel annually, assuring that the administration is already engaging local and global partners to develop the sector and change the narrative.

Discussing some efforts of the Tinubu administration to revitalize the steel sector, the minister disclosed that government has won and sustained the interest of some investors, saying: “We have met some investors and they have agreed to invest over $500b in Nigeria.”

The minister assured that when this is done, no less than $10b would be invested into the Nigerian economy, adding that the investment would create over 500 thousand direct and indirect jobs in the country.

He said apart from $2-5 billion needed to execute strategic steel projects, there is further need to provide enough land, railtracks, deep seaports and other infrastructure that will facilitate transportation.

Further discussing goals scored in the effort to woo foreign investors to the sector, the minister stated: “Another thing we did is to attract foreign investors to come and build or set up new steel plants in Nigeria. When we were in China among other foreign countries we went, we discussed at length on this.”

“We want to also encourage those who have invested in development of Nigerian local content, those who are already in the country for over five decades and have created jobs in one way or the other.”

“The steel industry has been struggling since independence. Despite having more than 90 percent materials needed for steel production in the country,” he added.

“Presently, the Steel plant has not done so well due to its low production, in fact, the local and mobile production of the Steel is in excess of 5m metric tones however, what was produce is less than what is deposits and consumed in the country.”

“Some of the Steel we are producing in the country is from the scrabble metal and iron that is consumed, other things are Dinemite, power bulb, collimate, cooking stoves, limestone and all other raw materials.”

The minister encouraged Nigerians to work together and support government in its effort to develop the steel industry, saying everyone has a role to play in the revitalization of the steel industry.

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