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House of Reps harps on reviving mines and steel sector

The House of Representatives Committee on Steel has advised the Ministry of Mines and Steel development to think outside the box and harness its agencies to boost Nigeria’s economy.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Ibrahim Halims, made the call when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite appeared before the Committee for the 2023 budget defense session.

Mr Halim explained that going by the current challenges in the country, there is the need to diversify the nation’s economy to other viable sectors to support the dwindling economy.

He also stressed the need for the Ministry to use the 2023 budget to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company and other solid Minerals for economic diversification.

“The steel industry remains the backbone of modern society and serves as a key enabler in the economy by providing the basic raw materials for public infrastructure development projects and key sectors such as housing and real estate development, energy, automotive, defence, and various, small & medium enterprises engaged in downstream engineering and fabrication business”, he noted.

Mr. Halims said the most important issue for the Committee was how to revive the steel industry as well as the efforts being made to bring the Ajaokuta Steel Company back on track

The Minister of Mines and Steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said efforts are being made to complete work on the Ajeokuta Steel Company.

Mr Adegbite stated that the ministry needs more funds to curb illegal mining as well as insecurity in the sector; which according to him is seriously affecting investments.

The minister disclosed that the ministry is working on scaling up on small scale mining.

He added that the sum of N3.2bn has been allocated for the ministry and it’s ten agencies in the 2023 budget, describing it as inadequate.

Writing by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade/Annabel Nwachukwu