05 October 2015, Abuja – The metallurgical, mining and materials division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers has called on the Federal Government to revive the steel industry in the country.
The group, in a communiqué issued at the end of its annual conference, said the National Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe; Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex and other steel industries should be urgently resuscitated for liquid steel production in order to support the development of the country’s automotive industry.
The communiqué, which was signed by the National Chairman, MMMD, Mr. Friday Apeh, and National Programme Coordinator, Dr. JamiuOdusote, stated that this would open up development of other materials for the automotive sector.
According to the group, the Automotive Industrial Development Plan by the National Automotive Design and Development Council and others should be implemented and investment confidence in the automotive industry should be enhanced.
The group stated, “No nation can industrialise and by the same token run a viable automotive manufacturing sector without developing and actualising her iron and steel production capability. The automotive industry uses up to 75 per cent by weight of steel components.
“In many countries around the world, the automotive industry plays both strategic and catalytic roles in economic development in respect of contribution to the GDP, economic linkages, Small and Medium Enterprises, job creation and skills development.”
The group said that to encourage the patronage of components and vehicles produced locally by parts manufacturing and assembly plants, tariffs should be increased on imported similar items.
“The local content development strategy should be crafted and as a matter of urgency, the government should develop policies that promote technically competent suppliers who can keep abreast of developments in the industry with respect to technical competence, history of industrial performance and adherence to industry regulatory policies,” the group said.