In order to achieve self-sufficiency in steel production, the Federal Government on Tuesday, inaugurated the reconstituted National Steel Council.
A statement signed by Chinwe Ekwugha for Director of Press in the ministry, said the Council is saddled with the responsibility of effectively executing central planning of the country’s iron and steel industry.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, who inaugurated the Council on Tuesday, in Abuja, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the Council is a step in the right direction, adding that it will bring Nigeria closer to achieving self – sufficiency in Steel production.
While assuring the Board of the support of the ministry in realising their mandate, Adegbite tasked the ten-member Committee, Chaired by Muhammad Murtala Aliyu with Amb. Abdulkarim Musafari as its Executive Secretary, to judiciously execute their assigned duties in the Sector in order to realize the economic diversification agenda of the present Administration.
The Minister reeled out the Committee’s Terms of Reference to include, research and development for the Steel industry, comprising research and development of the technology and other aspects of Iron and Steel production and the utilisation of the products and by-products of lron and Steel plants;
Advising the Federal Government on the establishment of additional Iron and Steel plants and generally on the formulation of policies relating to the development of the Iron and Steel industry and other related industries in Nigeria, among others.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, expressed delight at the composition of the board and urged the Committee to fast-track the development of the strategic industry , which has become an index of power and economy, an economic nerve trigger, industrial raw material consumer, a foreign exchange earner and saver.
On her part, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, urged the Committee to bring their wealth of experience to bear in re-engineering and repositioning of the Steel Sector to actualise the Federal Government’s targeted economic growth.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, represented by the Director, Artisanal and Small – Scale Mining (ASM), Mr Patrick Ojeka added that the function of the Council is designed to cover areas that contribute in developing the relevant human capacity and necessary tools that will build up and sustain metallurgical and Steel Sector.
The Permanent Secretary urged the Council to take advantage of the clarion call to national service and revitalise the Steel Sector for national development.
Chairman of the newly inaugurated Council, Muhammad Murtala Aliyu, pledged that his team will assiduously work to achieve a milestone which will change the narrative of the industry and take the country to greater heights.