ABUJA – (Budget & National Planning Ministry Report) – A meeting of stakeholders held lately in Abuja has re-emphasized the critical role of the steel sector as an ingredient for industrialization drive in Nigeria.
The meeting which was coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning was geared towards enhancing the steel sector development on the strenght of its economic value. During the meeting session, experts from the steel industry holistically looked at the problems which the sector has been facing in the country with the Ajaokuta Steel Company as a case study.
The experts resolved that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) developed by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning has a high premium on industrialization which cannot be adhered to without strengthening of the iron and steel sector.
The Permanent Sectary in the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Olajide Odewale in his remarks at the event stated that the development of the steel sector is critical for the economic diversification of the country as enshrined in the ERGP. He also pointed out that the steel sector provides the foundation and needed impetus for industrialization globally.
Olajide Odewale maintained that sustainable and rapid economic growth cannot take place in any economy without a functional steel sector that produces the needed intermediate products for its industrial drive. He further indicated that given her enormous resource endowment, Nigeria has the potential of becoming a major player in the global steel economy.
In the highlight of the discussion, the meeting witnessed paper presentations from private players in the steel sector of the economy. The presenters agreed that Government should focus on completing the Ajaokuta Steel Company, considering the fact that other countries which started the actualization of the steel – based economy with Nigeria have achieved tremendous progress.
The presenters further recommended the setting up of a National Task Force Committee on the revitalization of the Ajaokuta Steel Company to find out the remote and immediate causes of the steel project failure in the nation.