Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has given a wake-up call to the Nigerian industrialists, saying: “we must be extremely ambitious in our industrialization efforts.”
Professor Osinbajo who spoke today, Tuesday, at the foundation laying ceremony of Kam Steel Integrated Complex at Jimba Oja, Kwara state, regretted that despite that Nigeria is ranked the 12th largest iron ore resource country in the world and the second largest in Africa, about 70 percent of the deposits are yet to be proven.
He said that the federal government is well aware of this issue and is currently looking at options to solve the challenge, including synergizing government capacity and private sector competencies for certifying existing deposits.”
He said that steel is the world most important engineering material; even as he made it clear that the Buhari presidency is determined to bring about a faster industrialization process in the country through the active development of the steel sector.
According to the Vice President, Nigeria has about 2 billion metric tonnes of iron ore reserve which he said Nigeria needs for increased levels of investment in Nigeria.
Professor Osinbajo emphasized that steel plays an important part in the Buhari administration’s economic agenda, and therefore called on other operators in the steel industry in the country to ensure Nigeria “becomes a net exporter of steel within the shortest possible time”.
The Vice President who was accompanied by the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed and Solid Minerals Development Minister, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, among others, spoke to a gathering of captains of industries, financial experts, political leaders and stakeholders at the foundation laying ceremony, disclosing that as part of demonstrating its commitment to the industrial development of the country, President Buhari had directed that everything be done so that Nigeria can make progress in respect of ease of doing business ranking this year.
He said that the federal Government has been putting in place the right macro-economic policies and is working to ensure an enabling environment for business to grow in line with the Change Agenda of the Buhari administration.
“This is why the President has given clear instructions that we must make significant progress in the ease of doing business ranking this year. Diligent efforts are being undertaken to ensure this goal is achieved, including the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee, which has since commenced work with a very keen presidential oversight.”
Vice President Osinbajo commended Kam Steel Integrated Company Ltd for its achievements, saying that the commitment of the company is in tandem with the vision of the government to diversify the nation’s economy by encouraging the growth of local industries.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi who also spoke at the occasion, said that the achievement of the company could galvanize the development of the sector as a whole, saying that the company had the single-largest private investment in the nation’s steel industry. [myad]