President Muhammad Buhari had plans to supply the local need of the country by reducing over dependence on the oil sector towards enhancing the capacity building of coal, mining and research, to contribute effectively to the growth of GDP and government allocation.
The Minister for Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and his Minister of State, Alh Abubakar Bawa Bwari, made this known in Jos, recently, while addressing the staffs of the National Metallurgical Development Center (NMDC), on an inspection tour.
He said there was need to take full advantage of the minerals to redirect and focus our energy to ensure that the economy improves, adding that, “we also need the cooperation of the private sector in the development of local industries in Nigeria.”
He also pledged government’s commitment in repositioning the mineral sector for benefit of pilot plan of federal government, and with a promise to look into the plight and welfare of the workers.
According to him, the Ajakuta Steel Melting Company will soon be revamped to increase the local need of industries because of the poor price of petroleum product, especially the current challenges facing the country.
He also promised to partner with Plateau state government in the area of solid mineral development and in building capacity of workers for better productivity.
Speaking earlier, Professor Ibrahim Abdullahi Bagudu said the maiden visit to the NMDC is a manifestation of the confidence and dedication of change agents who have the capacity and capability to offer the leadership the desire needed to diversification of the economy so as to play a major role in contributing to the growth of Nigeria.
He stressed that the center has made remarkable contributions to the metallurgical and mineral sectors of the economy since its establishment and development of the Itakpe Iron Ore deposit to meet the requirement for iron steel making via blast furnace.
According to him, blend formulation studies and pilot-scale levels indicated that about 35% of Nigerian non-cooking coals could be incorporated in a blend with imported prime coking coals for coke production.
He noted also that, the development of a powder wire drawing lubricant from local raw materials and sinter production process will be achieved by using local iron ores and AA sinter grating machines designed and fabricated at the center.
He, therefore, want to crave the intervention for the increase of the center overhead allocations so that the equipment and facilities will be effectively utilized.
He said, one of the initiatives of the center towards this end is the signing of a memorandum of understanding with small and medium enterprises development of Nigeria.