The Minister of Mines and Steel Development; Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari has identified capacity gap as one of the major factors militating against the development of the mineral raw material products in the country’s metals sector, adding that the administration will bridge the gaps in order to ensure full realisation of the deliverables of the sector.
The minister made this statement at a training organised for stakeholders in the sector by the Metallurgical Inspectorate and Raw Materials Development (MI&RMD) of the Ministry. The training which was held at Rockview Hotels, Abuja was organised to develop strategies to sustain the Metal Sector.
The Director of Press and Publicity, Mr. Edwin M.E Opara confirmed to our correspondent that the Minister, who was represented by the Director MI&RMD, Mr. Victor Ihebinike said a sustainable metal sector is the techno-economic backbone of national development of any nation including Nigeria. He said the vision and mission of the change agenda of the Federal Government cannot be realised unless there is a timely and sustainable metal production in Nigeria.
The training according to him, is basically to provide strategies aimed at bridging capacity gaps in the development of Mineral Raw Materials and products in the Nigerian metal sector. He believed that the metal industries in Nigeria could still be resuscitated to provide the necessary vehicle for industrial transformation and growth, provided there is will, commitment and genuine patriotism.
The mission of the metallurgical plants in Nigeria according to him was a consequence of a well mapped out strategy to achieve clearly stated objectives which include the provision of solid industrial base for technological development, the promotion of modern technological transfer and the acquisition, conservation of foreign exchange, export promotion and job creation.
While asserting that Minerals and Metals are essential to modern industrial activities necessary for global development and improvement of quality of life, the minister attributed poor performance of the Nigeria Metal and steel sector to inadequate funding, poor planning and implementation as well as political influences.
Engineer Gabriel Atabo in his presentation during the training suggested the need for Research/Development and Advisory Committee to be put in place to check the gaps, and that collaboration with other countries that are developed in the sector like Russia, India, China and South Africa would bring incentives and broader scope in dealing with the challenges facing the metal sector in Nigeria.