The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, has requested the National Assembly to allocate more funds to the mines and steel sector to enable it to create more jobs for Nigerian youths and increase its contribution to the country’s revenue.
He made this call during the 2022 Budget Defense before the House of Representatives Committee on Steel yesterday at the National Assembly (NASS).
The minister told the committee that the mining sector in Nigeria remained one of the focus areas of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s economic diversification agenda.
“Government, having identified the huge opportunity emplaced therein, envisages the sector as a viable source for significantly growing the economy and causing a paradigm shift from dependence on oil as a major revenue earner for the country,” he said.
Adegbite told the committee that the ministry is proposing a budget of about N23.4b for 2022 as against N24.4b in 2021, just as he reiterated the need for increased budgetary allocation and, when approved, funds promptly released. This, he said, would help increase the country’s revenue.
In his comments, the Minister of State, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, noted that the ministry has moved up in revenue generation in the last nine months, from about N2m to N6m.
Ogah urged the committee to allocate more funds for the sector to enable it to contribute more to the country’s GDP
Earlier in his opening remarks, the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Steel, Hon. Abdullahi Halims, stated that the development of the steel sector remained one of the focal goals of the government, while acknowledging the contribution of steel to the mining sector and revenue generation for the country.
A statement by the director of press and public relations, signed by Ijomah Opia, said he, however, pointed out that corruption and mismanagement in the past affected the development of the steel sector to a huge extent and promised his committee’s commitment to collaborate with the ministry to move the sector forward.