The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said that tax incentives and tariff for steel operators will encourage its production in the country.
He said this over the weekend during a town hall meeting with stakeholders organized by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in conjunction with the Ogun State government, held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.
Fayemi identified the inability to produce liquid steel as one of the challenges confronting the sector in the country, saying bulk of the steel produced in Nigeria are derived from scrap materials.
He urged the operators in the sector to look inward towards the production of liquid steel.
Fayemi noted that the sector would not witness any major development until the Ajaokuta Steel Company remains functional.
The minister said, “I think we need a combination of tariff and tax incentives to assist our operators in helping the country to pursue its own industrialisation strategy, because we are not going anywhere if we don’t conquer steel. People want to industrialise, we must conquer steel.
“That is why we believe that government should run Ajaokuta Steel Company. The steel company on completion has the capacity to produce liquid steel which is expandable.
“We need to look at local content on steel. The company (Ajaokuta) has the capacity to produce 1.5m metric tonnes and can be expanded to 3m metric tonnes.
“Today in Nigeria, we consume about 7m metric tonnes but we produce about 3m. That means that the remaining 4m metric tonnes are being imported.”
The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in his remarks, said that the state possessed about 40 percent of mining resources in the country.
Amosun regretted that the state had not been treated in terms of what was accurable to it from the federal government in relation to what the state is contributing to the nation health sector.