The Federal Government has restated its commitment to the development of the mining and steel sector in the country as part of an overall strategy to reposition the nation's real economy.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Muhammed Musa Sada, disclosed this weekend during the inauguration and test-run of the Western Metal Products Company Limited (WEMPCO) steel Plant at Magboro, Ogun State.
He said the government was committed to creating an enabling environment that would make the mining and the steel sector thrive and boost the nation's economic development.
Sada explained that there is no country in the world that can achieve industrialisation without a developed steel sector because of the inextricable link between the steel sector and the manufacturing and industrial sector.
"We need to encourage any investor because no country can industrialise without steel. There is nothing you see that cannot go with steel", he added.
He noted further that with what is going on at WEMPCO plant, there is hope that the country is on the right track in its effort to attract both foreign and local investment to the sector. "The leadership of the country will not rest on its oars, we will give all it takes to make the sector work for economic gains," Sada stressed.
Continuing, he pointed out that out of the government's 3 million metric tonnes production capacity of the steel sector, the new WEMPCO Plant is already producing 700,000 metric tonnes and buttressed that if fully supported, it would be able to achieve its set target.
"We can build automobile bodies, roofing sheets, iron containers, electrical appliances amongst others," he said.
Sada maintained that wealth is always being generated anywhere people are given the opportunity to acquire the right skills. On Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Company, he hinted that the government is ready to enter into discussion with anybody who comes in to take over the facility for its development as well as others in the country.
Meanwhile, the WEMPCO Group Managing Director, Mr. Lewis Tung, during the event, said steel is the basic metal and backbone of all industries and can help facilitate infrastructural development as well as promote creation of employment opportunities.
"In any country, all aspects of industrialisation require steel. These include building, civil and road construction, automobile manufacturing as well as fabrication and production of engineering machineries," he said.
While stating that steel is crucial and fundamental to any industrial development, he stressed that all advanced countries in the world such as United State of America, United Kingdom, Russia, France, Japan and others started their industrial revolutions through development of steel.
Tung further observed that developing countries like China, India, and Brazil amongst others laid the foundation of their development through steel development.