The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development, Rep. Abdullahi Halims (APC-Kogi), has promised that the Ajaokuta Steel Company will begin to function effectively within the next four years.
Halims, in an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, pledged that Alaja Steel Company and the Katsina Steel Rolling Mills will also function optimally.
“At the end of four years, I want to tell you by the grace of God, we will see the Ajaokuta Steel Company working very well.
“We will see the Alaja Steel rolling out mills, we will see the Katsina Steel rolling out mills and the entire steel sector making gains out of production,” he said.
Halims explained that the Nigerian Steel Industry, established as a base for industrialization, had remained unproductive.
The lawmaker identified outdated laws that were no longer favourable to the sector as a major factor militating against the progress of the industry.
He said that the sector had not done enough to enable Nigeria to achieve its target of becoming one of the world’s top economies by 2020.
According to the chairman, the main objective of the committee is to ensure implementation of policies that would stimulate and reposition the sector to serve as a backbone for industrialisation.
Halims said that benefit of having a functional steel industry included job creation that would guarantee economic growth for future generations.
The legislator said that without a vibrant steel sector, the oil and gas sector which earned the highest Gross Domestic Product in Nigeria’s economy will not exist.
He said that pipelines, refineries, tank farms, railway, automobiles, vessels, turbines, modern bridges, razor and knives, among other things would be lacking without a functional steel sector.
The parliamentarian maintained that Nigeria had come a long way and that there was need for the steel sector to play its role as a vital instrument of growth.
He said that the committee which derived its powers from the Act of the National Assembly would work in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
The chairman said that when the committee became fully operational, laws regulating the sector would be reviewed to ensure optimum performance.
Halims also said that the committee would interact with the stakeholders in the industry and constructively engage regulators and key players in the sector.
The chairman further said that the committee would engage consultants to support in technical areas for effective results.
Halims explained that within 30 days to 60 days, the technical team would carry out a field assessment and make recommendations acceptable to the parliament for further actions.
The chairman maintained that the committee would be interacting regularly with the media to brief Nigerians on the activities of the committee.