Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said that the Federal Government will stop importation of steel products into the county to the is to encourage local investors in the sector.
The Minister said this during a familiarisation visit to Kam Industries Limited, a privately owned steel manufacturing industry in Ilorin, Kwara State.
According to him, “Government would stop the importation of steel materials into the country once it attained self-sufficiency in steel production.
“My ultimate aim is that we ban steel importation into the country totally, but before we do that, we must be able to satisfy local consumption from local production and have some excess for export, that is where we are heading,” he stressed.
Adegbite, however, noted that, though the ministry was responsible for steel production and development in the country, it was not in control of the quality of steel that came into the country.
This, he said, was the responsibility of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), adding that the ministry was working with the organisation to ensure that steel that come into the country is controlled and meet the right standard.
The Minister stressed the need for local investors to invest in the country’s steel sector rather than foreigners, to avoid capital flight. He encouraged local investors to invest more in the mines and metal sector as he believed that while foreign investors look at how to maximize profits, local investors invest in the people”
He, therefore, commended the Group Managing Director (GMD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kam industries, Alhaji Kamorudeen Yusuf, for establishing his factory in Nigeria where he could positively affect the lives of the citizenry and contribute to the development of minerals and metal sector.
“We welcome local industrialization and local entrepreneurs and we want to encourage them. This is an example of what Nigeria should do; you can imagine this complex providing over 4,000 employment opportunities. If we have replication of this all over the country, it will reduce the rate of restiveness and banditry,” he said.
Adegbite emphasised that with the support of the Buhari administration, Ajaokuta Steel Company would work and would produce steel before the end of the present administration.