The Federal Government has reconstituted the National Steel Council under the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) to facilitate Nigeria’s quest to achieve self-sufficiency in steel production.
Speaking during the inauguration yesterday (August 9, 2022) at the ministry headquarters in Abuja, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite said the reconstituted council aims to promote efficient and effective execution of central planning of the iron and steel industry.
Adegbite noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the council is a step in the right direction; one which will bring Nigeria closer to achieving self-sufficiency in steel production.
While assuring the board of the ministry’s unalloyed support towards realising its mandate, he tasked the 10-member committee chaired by Muhammad Murtala Aliyu – with Amb. Abdulkarim Musafari as its executive secretary – to execute its assigned duties in the sector judiciously, to realise the economic diversification agenda of the present administration.
The minister reeled out the committee’s terms of reference to include research and development for the steel industry, research and development of the technology and other aspects of iron and steel production and the utilisation of the products and by-products of iron and steel plants; as well as advising the Federal Government on the establishment of additional iron and steel plants and generally on the formulation of policies relating to the development of the iron and steel industry and other related industries in Nigeria, among others.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of State, MMSD, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki expressed delight at the composition of the board and urged the committee to fast-track the development of the strategic industry, which has become an index of power and economy, an economic nerve trigger, industrial raw material consumer and a foreign exchange-earner and saver.
On her part, Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, urged the committee members to, among other things, bring their wealth of experience to bear in re-engineering and repositioning the steel sector to actualise the Federal Government’s targeted economic growth.
The permanent secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade represented by the director, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), Mr. Patrick Ojeka added that the function of the council is designed to cover areas that contribute to developing the relevant human capacity and necessary tools that will build and sustain the metallurgical and steel sector.
A statement by the ministry’s director, press and public relations signed by Chinwe Ekwugha, said Akinlade, therefore, urged the council to take advantage of the clarion call to national service and revitalise the steel sector for national development.
Responding, the chairman of the newly inaugurated council, Muhammad Aliyu pledged that his team will assiduously work to achieve a milestone which will change the narrative of the industry and take the country to greater heights.