Okowa calls for revamping of Nigeria’s steel industry

23 December 2015, Asaba – Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called for concerted efforts to revamp the steel sector for the overall development of the country.

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State

Speaking yesterday at Asaba when he received the National President and members of Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSAN), Mr. Otori Maliki, accompanied by Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Delta State Council, Mr. David Ofoeyeno, Governor Okowa said the steel industry was very critical to the overall development of the country’s economy and should not be allowed to waste.

“The steel industry is important and critical to the development of any economy and we cannot pay lip service to it;  it is beneficial to our economy as it ensures our self-sufficiency,” he said, adding, “ to allow the steel complexes to continue to waste  is a disservice to the country.”

According to the governor, “we need to be pro-active as a nation, government has put in a lot of money on these steel complexes including the railway line for the development of the economy, we have to ensure that the steel complexes are functional as this sector is crucial to the growth of Nigeria.”
The governor used the occasion to wade into the trade dispute between members of ISSAN, Delta State Council and the management of Delta Steel Company (DSC), calling for patience to enable him intervene.
He observed that the new management of the company should be given the opportunity to commence operation, asserting that it would be in the best interests of the workers, the state and the country if the company is operational than for it to be weighed down by industrial action.

While commending labour for choosing the part of dialogue in their dealing with government, he charged them to continue to partner and support government for the benefit of the economy and the workforce.
He said: “I want to appeal to you to be more patient and dialogue with government so as to resolve the issues of the Delta Steel Company workers, I hope we will be able to resolve it in good time, be a little more patient and I appreciate the fact that you have chosen the part of dialogue.”

Earlier, Mr. Otori Maliki has informed the governor that ISSAN intended to embark on a strike to press home their demands for the payment of backlog of salaries and entitlements of workers at the Delta Steel Company while the state chairman of NLC who led the delegation, Ofoeyeno thanked Okowa for “building the bridge of unity between government and the organised labour.”

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