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Steel importation gulps N4.5bn yearly – Minister

Steel importation gulps N4.5bn yearly – Minister

The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has lamented that Nigeria spends up to $4.5 billion on steel imports yearly.

The nation spends up to $4.5bn on the importation of steel yearly, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has said.

This implies the amount contributed to the recent pressure in the foreign exchange market occasioned by the demand of dollars by importers to transact their businesses.

Bwari gave the hint yesterday in his address at the ongoing national steel summit in Lagos.

According to him, the amount could be saved if the country could build local capacity to produce steel.

“The economy expends about $4.5 billion on steel imports per year which could be saved if they can be produced locally.

“Considering that the consumption rate of steel and other metal products is regarded as a major index of industrialisation, it is obvious that Nigeria is seriously lagging behind, even by the standard of developing nations.

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“According to recent estimates, the annual per capita consumption of steel in Nigeria is below 10kg while the corresponding world average stands at 208kg as at 2016,” he said.

Bwari noted that the current administration was making efforts to address the deficit in steel and metals consumption by creating enabling environment for private investment in steel production.

The minister, who acknowledged that government’s performance in the sector was limited by operational challenges, noted that the summit would work out modalities to address the concerns.

He added the government was convinced that presence of private sector in the business would yield better result when compared with government’s ownership.

 

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Olakoyenikan Oluwasegun