Abuja (Min. of Mines and Steel) – The Minister of State, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, has stressed that the development of the Metal Industry is the panacea to the industrialisation and economic development in Nigeria.
The Minister stated this in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Nigerian Metallurgical Industry Stakeholders’ Forum (MISF), held on Monday, December 9, 2019, in Owerri, Imo State.
The forum which was organised by the Ministry was themed; ‘Building Local Capacities for the Development of the Nigerian Metals Sector’ and was meant to engage metallurgical operators in the South-East Geopolitical Zone.
According to the Minister, the forum was also meant to create a platform for stakeholders to chart a way forward for the sector in line with the government’s agenda on the diversification of the economy, jobs and wealth creation.
He said, “There is a need for both government and investors to work together to harness the potentials available in the sector, there are a lot of opportunities in the sector such as, smelting and refining, foundry, rolling mills, etc. that can be leveraged on to develop the economy”.
The Minister further disclosed that government, through the Ministry, has recorded landmark achievements in restructuring the sector by implementing policies such as launching of the Ministry’s approved Roadmap for the development of the Minerals and Metals Sector, working out modalities to bring on stream Ajaokuta Steel Company, reviving the Metallurgical Training Institutes, among others.
Ogah expressed optimism that the outcome of deliberation of the forum will further boost the efforts of the government to reposition the sector towards meeting the developmental needs of the nation.
He therefore urged participants to deliberate on the formation of Metallurgical Operators Association of Nigeria (MOAN) in the South East Zone that would facilitate a regular interface between government and the industry’s stakeholders to harness the abundant skills for economic development.
The Imo State Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, in his opening address, stated that no country can develop industrially without developing its metal industry and requisite skills of the people to drive its metallurgical industries.
He said his government will support Federal Government’s initiatives to reposition the Minerals and Metals Sector; he urged participants to deliberate extensively towards proffering solutions to the challenges being faced by the metal operators in the South East and the entire nation.
The event which was well graced by operators of metal industries from the five states in South-East and other dignitaries featured paper presentations by renowned seasoned scholars and captains of industries.
Assistant Director (Press)
For: Director (Press)