The Nigerian Union of Mines Workers (NUMW) has commended the Buhari administration for committing twelve billion naira to minerals exploration in the country, just as the union of over six thousand miners commended the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari for his efforts to develop the sector, adding that the roadmap for the development of the sector is being realistically pursued.
President of the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers, Comr Hamza Muhammed who gave the charge in Abuja on Thursday said government needs to do more to realise set goals while calling on President Buhari to confirm Bawa Bwari as substantive minister of mines and steel development.
Hamza, who congratulated ASCO chapter of the NUMW for successfully electing its new executives, tasked the chairman of the branch, Salami Momoh Jimoh on transparent leadership, adding that the team must remain steadfast in the quest for industrialization of Nigeria.
Discussing the implications of not operationalizing ASCO and NIOMCO, the union leader said “Nigerians spend so much money buying imported steel products from countries which stated steel industries were commenced long after Nigeria started building ASCO and NIOMCO,” adding that the Buhari administration must make a great name for itself by ensuring that ASCO and NIOMCO are reactivated.
He described the quest for resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO) and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) as an issue of national importance and commended the administration for demonstrating concern by ending the protracted litigation surrounding the ownership of ASCO and NIOMCO, describing them as “premier metallurgical institutions that must be completed and operationalized” before Nigeria can be described as a nation on the path of industrial progress.
“While we say the Buhari administration has tried, we want the administration to do all it can to ensure that liquid steel is not only produced in Nigeria, but also exported to other countries,” he said.
“Apart from the jobs creation potentials of ASCO and NIOMCO, the resuscitation of the complexes will reposition the country as a major exporter of steel and allied products, a development that will make Nigeria proud and occupy her place in the committee of nations,” he added.
According to Hamza, ASCO and NIOMCO are mega projects which resuscitation has become necessary for the industrialisation of Nigeria, adding that world leaders have prioritized the quest for industrialization as a way of gaining strength and relevance in world matters.
“Some countries have advanced, but I believe that Nigeria can meet up if we pursue the goal with maximum vigor.
“When an industrial status of a country is on 4.0, at that stage, industrial robots and computers are active but Nigeria has not even gotten to stage, we are still far behind, he said.