Iron and steel: Use sector for Economic, Technology Development, NSE Advises Buhari

Iron and steel: Use sector for Economic, Technology Development, NSE Advises Buhari

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By Alex Uangbaoje

Immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, (NSE) Kaduna state Chapter Engr Abdul Audu yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use the Iron and steel sector as a panacea for the rapid economic and technological development of the country.

Speaking as the Guest Presenter at the 2015 Public Lecture of the Nigerian Society of Enginners, Kaduna branch and the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Kaduna, Abdul said, “It can be safely deduced that iron and steel has a major significant role to play in the industrialization and infrastructural development of Nigeria. Nigeria has the potential of becoming a dominant economy in Africa, but this will be Herculean task so long as there is no vibrant iron and steel sector.”

Delivering his lecture on the theme,”Iron and Steel Development in Nigeria: issues, challenges and opportunities, Abdul posited that, “Planing for the Nigerians steel sector started in 1958 by the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa administration, but over 50 years after, the country is yet to establish a stable and virile iron and steel sector even after having invested over $7 billion US dollar.”

He therefore said the “government of the day under President Muhammadu Buhari has no option than to save Nigeria from the jaws of underdevelopment by fully developing the iron and steel sector of the Nigerian economy. The federal government should practicalize  her intentions with strong commitment. A decisive step has to be taken and the choice is to completely privatize the steel plant or take them back under a public private partnership arrangements.”

According to him, “It is equally important that all support services, facilities and infrastructure should all be properly developed thereby, creating enabling environment for enduring development of the sector.”

The Guest Presenter who bemoan the present state of things said, “All previous governments have attempted various means of bringing the Ajaokuta steel company to life but there seems to be no end in sight to the woes of the plant.

“The problems militating against the realization of the Nigerian’s full potential in the iron and steel sector rages from the complex to the basic. It could be said that it involves a very complex interplay of both international conspiracy woven around international technological politics, local politics and official corruption that found a meeting point with the common aim of holding Nigeria down technologically.”

Also speaking at the gathering the chairman of the occasion and Director college of Engineering, Kaduna Polytechnic, Engineer Ezekiel Adebayo said despite government inaction in the iron and steel sector, the professionals in the sector will continue to talk as the sector is the bedrock of any industrialization that can take place in Nigeria.

Adebayo said the steel sector is in a state of coma but insisted that with the current wave of change moving. all over the. country and the new government. Ajaokuta steel plant should also witness the change. 

Newsweb Express

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