Although Nigeria is the 12th largest iron ore resource country in the world and the second largest in Africa, about 70% of the deposits are yet to be proven, a pursuit the federal government says it is now engaging in.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, said on Tuesday in Ilorin that the federal government “is well aware of this issue and is currently looking at options to solve the challenge, including synergising government capacity and private sector competencies for certifying existing deposits.”
Noting that steel is the world most important engineering material, the Vice President restated the Buhari presidency’s determination 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, adding “we must be extremely ambitious in our industrialization efforts”. He explained further that the need for increased levels of investment in Nigeria, “has never been more crucial than at this period in time.”
Disclosing this at the foundation laying ceremony of Kam Steel Integrated Complex at Jimba Oja, Kwara State, Prof. Osinbajo said 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 Muhammadu Buhari had directed that everything be done so that Nigeria can make progress in respect of ease of doing business ranking this year.
Prof. Osinbajo noted 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.
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