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  • promoting and standardizing stainless steel practices in Nigeria
  • promoting and standardizing stainless steel practices in Nigeria
  • promoting and standardizing stainless steel practices in Nigeria

FG pledges support for association’s plan to establish steel factory - by Musa, June 14, 2016, 5:14 pm

Abuja – The Federal Government has pledged support for the Stainless Steel Importers, Installers and Sellers Association of Nigeria (SISAN) in its plan to build a stainless steel plant in the country...

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, gave the assurance when a management team of SISAN paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja on Monday.

Addressing newsmen after a closed-door meeting with the group, Abubakar said that the association’s plan was in line with the government’s industrial development and economic diversification agenda.

She said the government already had a steel policy under the National Industrial Revolution Plan, which would serve as a roadmap for the proposed plant.

She said that the ministry would assist the association in the areas of provision of incentives and facilitation of access to affordable finance.

The minister added that government would provide institutional support in terms of development of a viable business plan.

”We are pleased to have a young group of people who are willing to embrace the administration’s economic diversification agenda through investment in backward integration in the steel sector.

“SISAN is a young group of steel importers who are now willing to start local manufacturing and they are in the process of accessing land where they can set up a factory.

“The proposed steel factory is a welcome initiative for us because it is in line with our efforts at attracting more investments into the solid mineral sector to create jobs for our people and boost our non-oil exports.

”So, the ministry is going to give them the support that they need to ensure that their dream comes true,” she said.

Earlier, the Director General of SISAN, Mr Timothy Onwughai, said that the proposed plant would be sited in Abuja or anywhere land was made available to the association in the country.

Onwughai said that the plant would create a minimum of 1,000 direct jobs and drive down the country’s stainless steel import bill when completed.

He listed other economic benefits of the project to include reduction of capital flight, economic diversification and increase in the internally generated revenue of the host state government.

He disclosed that the association had applied for land in the FCT and appealed to the minister to help them facilitate the approval of the request.

The SISAN DG called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the steel sector to fast-track the country’s industrial development and economic diversification processes.

”The steel sector is so critical to economic and industrial development that the government should give it special attention in its bid to diversify the economy.

“The steel industry is the second largest business in the world after oil and gas with an estimated turnover of 900 billion dollars, according to the World Steel Association.

”The market is still growing, but Nigeria is just beginning to tap into it with less than seven per cent participation.

“This has become worrisome because members of our association alone import stainless steel products and its accessories from Europe and Asia at an estimate cost of over two billion dollars annually.

“Government should declare a state of emergency in the sector, and particularly, make the Ajaokuta Steel Company work.

“This is very crucial because it is better we source our raw materials locally from companies like Ajaokuta than depending on importation,” he said. (NAN)