Former President, Nigerian Metallurgical Society, Prof. Benjamin Adewuyi, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company during his second tenure.
Adewuyi in an interview in Abuja said Buhari should ensure that the long-moribund steel company became operational in his second tenure to boost the economy.
He explained that the project when completed, arms and ammunition, cars among others that were now being imported could be manufactured in the company.
He said: “Ajaokuta has the capacity to produce cars, arms for the military among others and can also provide massive employment for the youths.
“We are only deceiving ourselves that we are manufacturing cars locally, without Ajaokuta steel functioning, we cannot manufacture our own cars.
“We have many brilliant youths among us that cannot carry out any innovation because we lack the materials they require, Mr President should revisit Ajaokuta Steel Company and kick start the project,” he said.
He said Nigeria would continue to suffer the repercussion of the negligence of Ajaokuta steel, as the country continues to depend on imported steel made from scrap metals.
Adewuyi explained that some cases of buildings that collapsed after five to six years of completion were as a result of substandard steel made from scrap metals.
“Nigeria will continue to suffer building collapse because most of the steel imported are made from scrap metals which cannot give the quality of steel required, “ he said.
He called for the development of metallurgical entrepreneurship to cater for welders, blacksmiths and other microscale metal refiners and micro-credit facilities to the steel sector.
“We want the government to pay more attention to micro, small and medium scale enterprises especially in the area of equipment procurement.
“We also want maximum utilisation of professionals in all areas of the metallurgical sector; more emphasis on the development of science and technology in economic development and growth.
“The sector will also require the government to create metallurgical entrepreneurship centres in all the geopolitical zones to fast track innovations and youth development and employment among others.