Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerians that the federal government will actualize every bit of the change agenda which it promised the electorate during electioneering.
According to him,the federal government has identified key sectors of the economy which include manufacturing, power ,agro-allied, and solid minerals where it will invest heavily to turn around the economy.
Professor Osinbajo gave the assurance in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, at the foundation laying ceremony of Integrated Steel Mill of KAM Industry Nigeria Limited in Jimba- Oja,a suburb of Ilorin in Kwara state, North Central Nigeria.
The vice president , who is the head of the federal government’s economic team, disclosed that the APC government was stepping up “infrastructural development and creating a conducive environment that will make Nigeria business friendly”.
He said the federal government was committed to removing” obstacles and roadblocks” that had long been impediments to attracting investors into the country .
Professor Osinbajo described Nigeria as the twelfth largest iron ore resource nation in the world and second largest in Africa with two million metric tones of iron ore reserves but regretted that” 70 per cent of these deposits are yet to be made towards the bankable product of these industries and appropriate financing”.
The Vice President however, said that very soon, the country would be importing approximately 250 million tonnes of processed steel and aluminium products an estimated cost of US $45.5bn.
“Today the 30 existing steel rolling mills in the country have about 6.5m tonnes ore per annum of which about 18 are in operation producing 2.8m metric tones per annum from melting of scraps. Yet according the world steel, the global iron and steel estimated demands is $ 9.6 trillion per annum.
We must be extremely ambitious in our industrialization effort in this area. Indeed the need for increased levels of investment in this area has never been more demanding than this time. Steel plays equivocal roles in the industrialization and infrastructure plan of the federal government.
We encourage investors like Kam Industry to participate in the industrialization efforts of this country and to ensure that we become necessary for steel products within the shortest possible time”,he said.
Speaking on the challenges facing industrialists ,Professor Osinbajo said “we are not unaware of the challenges currently facing industrialists in Nigeria. And this is why on our part, government remains relentless in our efforts to remove the obstacles and roadblocks that have long afflicted industrial activities in Nigeria.”
Earlier,the Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi said the federal government was committed to revitalizing Ajaokuta Steel Industry to make the country depend less on importation.
Also in his remarks at the ceremony, the State Governor,Abdulfatah Ahmed said KAM industry which started operation gradually two decades ago had created jobs for up 18,000 people assuring that the state government will continue to support the industry to do more.
According to him since its establishment two decades ago, Kam Industries Nigeria Limited has been committed towards meeting the demands of the people of Kwara State and Nigeria for Steel .
In his opening remarks , the Deputy Managing Director, KAM Industry Nigeria Limited ,Hajia Marriam Yususf said that the “Integrated Steel Company will remove many more people from the streets,thereby reducing unemployment in Nigeria”.