13 December 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has been asked to ensure that the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company at Atakpe, Kogi State, the major source of iron ore in Nigeria remained in the hands of Nigerians.
Group Deputy Managing Director, Kam Industries Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bola Awojobi, who stated this, said the trend globally was for the steel industry to be controlled by indigenes for strategic reasons
According to him, this was the case with China, Japan, India, Australia and the United States.
Speaking when a delegation from the National Defence College, Abuja, visited Kam Industries facilities in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Awojobi said: “The Federal Government should ensure that the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company at Atakpe, the major source of iron ore in Nigeria remains in the hands of Nigerians.
“For strategic reasons, China, Japan, India, Australia and the United States use their indigenes to develop their steel industry. Nigeria should emulate these countries.”
He maintained that the steel industry was strategic to Nigeria’s industrial growth, calling on the Federal Government to give indigenous operators in the sector special consideration.
He said government’s support was necessary to avoid the current situation whereby the nation continues to depend largely on imported steel.
Awojobi disclosed, for instance, that Nigeria imports of steel would soon hit $15.11 billion per annum
Quoting a recent Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, report, he said the country currently imports 25 metric tonnes of steel, aluminium and associated products worth $4.5 billion annually.