- …targets 10,000 jobs
By Etuka Sunday
Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite has disclosed that the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product GDP of about USD 440billion is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa without the production of liquid steel.
He disclosed this during the official handing over ceremony of the Steel Plant Assets owned by the Standard Metallurgical Company, SMC in Sagamu, Ogun State to KAM Steel Integrated Company, a subsidiary of KAM Holding acquired with N60billion.
As the monetary value of all finished goods and services made within a country during a specific period, GDP provides an economic snapshot of a country, used to estimate the size of an economy and growth rate.
The Minister also said that Nigeria has over 30 steel manufacturers but can only produce 2.2million tons per annum using scraps and billets imported mainly from china. It is on record that Nigeria spends an Average of about USD 3.3 billion importing metals annually.
KAM Holding acquired the N60billion Steel Plant Assets owned by the Standard Metallurgical Company, SMC as part of efforts towards boosting its capacities for the Iron and Steel production.
Speaking at the official handing over ceremony of the assets, the Chairperson of KAM Holding, Dr. Iyadunni Bolanle Yusuf, stressed that, “If Nigeria must come out of the wilderness of poverty, unemployment and insecurity among other social vices, the Federal Government must deploy its machineries to support local manufacturers in their bids to survive and grow.”
Represented by the Senior Special Assistant (Technical), Mr. Olu Adedayo, the Minister maintained that, “The decline in GDP as a result of the fluctuating oil prices compelled the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to commit itself to the diversification of Nigeria economy, thereby prioritizing the development of the minerals and metal and agricultural sectors.
“The Management of the Ministry has been working assiduously towards the enactment of the Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Bill in order to have an enabling law for effective regulation of the Metal Sector in Nigeria. The Ministry Solicits the support of all stakeholders’ especially metal sector operators in order to realize this.
“The Ministry is also working hard towards fast tracking the operationalization of ASCL and NIOMCO. The Government is encouraging Metal sector operators, especially local producers of metallurgical Mineral raw materials and steel metal products to synergize with miners towards ensuring local beneficiation of raw materials in Nigeria.
“This would put an end to the dig it and ship it syndrome and boost down stream activities in the metal sector for jobs and wealth creation, the FGN is also encouraging all metal sector operators to comply with set standard for the production of all metal products in order to ensure that our local products compete favorably in the international market. In order to do so, metal operators, artisans and other skilled operators in the metal sector are encouraged to sharpen their skills via the metallurgical training centers in Nigeria.
The FGN is working towards eradicating the import of metallurgical raw materials and products that can be produced locally and support the development of home-grown technologies in line with local content.
“It is therefore with immeasurable joy that I congratulate, MD/CEO, Dr. Kamorudeen and his team for achieving this great Milestone in the history of indigenous effort at steel making in Nigeria. Prior to the takeover of standard Metallurgical Company (SMC) by KAM Industries, my metallurgical field officers had reported following their inspectorate duties.
“The acceleration of industrial development lies primarily on the private sector while the Government provides the enabling environment. On this note, I want to once again congratulate KAM industry and thank stakeholders’ and everyone present here today. I wish you success in your future endeavors, thank you and God bless.”
The firm however, promised to create about 10,000 jobs to Nigerians and urged the federal government to expedite actions towards supporting indigenous manufacturers in local capacity building for the Steel Industry in the country.
According to her, “The Steel Industry being a very important integral part of the nation’s economy necessary for speedy economic growth and socio-infrastructural development, there is need for government to focus more on the sector, recognize and declare Iron and Steel as national products to boots our foreign exchange earnings in the face of dwindling price of Oil in the global market.
“In 2016, Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria performed the foundation laying of our integrated steel plant with rolling mills in Jimba-Oja, Kwara State and by the last quarter of 2019, the project was completed ready to contribute to the local steel market.
“Today, KAM Steel has acquired the steel plant formerly owned by SMC and we believe that with this milestone, our capacities would increase tremendously and will reposition Nigeria as a self-sufficient nation and we hope that the Federal Government shall continue to provide the enabling environment and support for continuing the actualization of the vision of the highly committed Nigerian behind this project.”
“It is our target to create about 10,000 jobs to promising Nigerians in the next coming months as a way of complementing government’s efforts in tackling youths’ restiveness, boost Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR), as well as promoting our Corporate Social Responsibilities in the society.”
Also speaking, the General Controller of Standard Metallurgical Company, (SMC) Mr. Hussein Nourdein, disclosed that the acquisition process was highly competitive stressing that, “At last, the powerful and giant finally have. We are delighted that KAM Steel Integrated Company acquired our steel plant assets and we promise them our continuous working and business relationship.