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FG promises to promote, protect local steel industries

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Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development says the Federal Government is making effort to promote and protect local steel industries.

Adegbite made this known, while inuagurating a nine-man committee for the reconstitution of the National Steel Council on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the committee was inaugurated to protect the interest of the local steel producers and to curtail dumping of foreign steel in the country.

He said the inuguration was in the right direction, bringing Nigeria closer to its goal of achieving self-sufficiency in steel production.

“The National Steel Act clearly makes adequate provisions for the establishment of the National Steel Council, which will be responsible for the central planning of the iron and steel industry.

“The council consists of a chairman, executive secretary, four board members, and one representative drawn from the following federal ministrie -finance; power, and steel.

“They will serve as central planning for the steel industry; research and development for the steel industry, including research and development of the technology and other aspects of iron and steel production,” he said.

The minister said the committee would coordinate thevexploration of iron ore, cooking coal, limestone, dolomite, refractory clay and other minerals related to iron and steel production.

He said the committee would collaborate with the ministries of power and steel, the Nigerian Coal Corporation and the Nigerian Mining Corporation to achieve the task

“Training of Nigerians in all aspects of the iron and steel industry and related fields and the deployment of senior Nigerian management staff and trainees to steel plants and other sectors of the industry.

“Research into the development and manufacture of equipment to be used for the purpose of and in relation to basic engineering in the steel industry among others will all be coordinated by the committee.”

Earlier, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning commended the Federal Government for selecting visionaries as committee members.

Ahmed said that no country could be industrialised without a vibrant steel company, adding that government was making efforts to reawakening all steel companies in the country.

Also, Mrs Gbemisola Saraki, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development said no doubt the calibre of people that were selected to form the committee would achieve success for the sector.

“Since the establishment of Ajaokuta steel, Delta steel and iron ore at Itakpe in Kogi state, this is the first time steel council is established.”

Alhaji Muhammad Aliyu, the Chairman of the committee said the committee would put in their best to achieve the task saddled on them.
(NAN)

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