The federal government on Thursday said it is tinkering with a total ban on steel importation to encourage local steel manufacturers in Nigeria.
It reiterated its commitment to encourage local investors in the mine and steel sector, especially with the potential to provide more job opportunities for Nigerian youth.
Minister for Mines and Steel, Olamilekan Adegbite said during an official visit to a local steel manufacturing industry in Ilorin, Kwara state, Kamwire Industry Limited hat government was determined to stop the importation of substandard steel products into Nigeria.
He added that “first, we are working with Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to address the issue. The ministry is not in control of the quality of steel products that come into the country, though we’re responsible for steel productions. We’ll work with the standard agency to control what comes in. The ultimate aim is to ban steel importation totally. But before we do that, we will ensure we’re able to satisfy local consumption from local production and still have excess to export. That’s where we’re heading.
“We welcome local industrialization and local entrepreneurs. We want to encourage them. I can see the depth of backward integration here, from raw material to finished product. This is an example of what Nigeria should do. If you do this you can imagine this complex providing over 4,000 employment opportunities. If we have replication of this all over the country, it will reduce the rate of restiveness and banditry we have in the country”.
Architect Adegbite expressed the determination of the Federal Government to effectively harness the Mining sector and commended the KAMWIRE industry for the steps taken so far to develop the sector.
The minister said that local investors are better than foreign investors, adding that they would engage the local people and at the end of the day would not take their profit out of the state.