The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has lauded the federal government’s policy on privatisation of the steel sector, assuring operators and investors of more policy support and incentives aimed at taking the industry higher.
The minister disclosed this wednesday in Lagos at the event organised by African Industries with the theme, ‘Taking Nigerian Steel to the Global Map.’
Fayemi, who was represented by Director, Steel and Non- Ferrous Metals, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Ime Ekrikpo, expressed government’s determination to continue to create an enabling environment for investors and local productions of their various businesses.
According to him, “Our key target in the mining industry is the steel and we will give them all the necessary support to begin to produce iron ore,” he said.
Earlier, the Group Executive Director, African Industries Group, Uche Iwuamadi, said that the major breakthrough which he referred to as breaking news is that for the first time in Nigeria, the company has begun exporting steel, finished steel, made-in-Nigeria from Nigeria to other countries.
“That is just the news and it has been on for a while. At this very critical time in the country, where people are talking of forex for importation, they are calling this country import oriented nation, we want to change the wheel, now we are exporting our finished products meeting up international standards and are accepted globally.
“At least, having met the requirement of local need, that is the most important thing. We have been able to produce enough to meet the local market and that is why we are now thinking of exporting. That is the summary.”
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director, Alok Gupta, said that the company which has existed in Nigeria since 1971 is targeting to export between 150,000 – 200,000 metric tonnes of steel on annual basis to start with.
“Our export of steel during first nine months of this year have increased over three folds by weight and value compared to the full last year 2016. To put numbers on it-in year 2017 for the first three quarters, our steel export are almost $13.5million compared to $4.1millon in 2016 and we are expecting an additional $12million of steel exports in the final quarter of the year. Overall we expect over $25million in the current year 2017. We are proud to achieve this milestone due to combined effort of our team and enabling environment created by domestic industrial policies.”
The MD/Chairman of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Ladi Balogun, Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium Limited, Princess Vicky Hastrup, Chairman, Basic Metal, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) President, Frank Jacobs and representatives from Zenith and UBA banks were at the event.