The Federal Government has promised that Nigeria will be saving about $4.5 billion yearly in cost spent on 25 million tonnes of processed steel, aluminium products and associated derivatives, by supporting growth of local steel producing facilities through capacity expansion and creation of a conducive business environment.
Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of KAM integrated steel project, Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo said Nigeria’s steel import bill remains high, noting that the country is the 12th largest iron ore resource country and the second largest in Africa, with two billion metric tonnes of iron ore reserves.
In spite of the huge reserves, 70 per cent of these deposits are yet to be exploited due to the commercial viability of the products in the industry and appropriate financing. The Federal Government in this present administration says it is prioritizing key sectors, such as manufacturing, agro-allied processing and solid minerals to boost local production and exploit the nation’s export potential.
VP Osibanjo reveals that the world steel association records show that global iron and steel’s estimated demand is $9.6 trillion yearly.
He therefore stressed the need for Nigeria to be extremely ambitious in her industrialization efforts in this area, adding that the need for increased level of investments in Nigeria has never been more crucial than this time, as steel plays a pivotal role in the industrialization and infrastructure plans of the federal government.
Government, according to him, is targeting an enabling environment in which it is progressively easier to do business where policies are predictable and consistent with macroeconomic stability and where the government acts as a partner to business and investments, and not as a competitor.
He stated that the government is aware of the bottlenecks hindering the nation’s industrial sector, pointing out that the present administration is looking currently for options to resolve these challenges by synergising government capacity and private sector competences for certifying existing deposits.
The Federal Government is re-positioning the economy for inclusive growth and sustainable development by getting the fundamentals right through the key fiscal and monetary trade and investment policies required. It is also committed to diversifying the economy away from over-dependence on oil and creating enabling environment to facilitate private sector led growth and development.