The Nigerian government has concluded plans to develop and implement a comprehensive ‘Backward Integration Policy’ that will revive the moribund iron and steel sub-sector of its economy.
The private Punch newspaper Friday quoted Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Olusegun Aganga, who gave the indication at a one-day stakeholders’ forum in the commercial city of Lagos, as saying the move was in line with Nigeria’s Industrial Revolution Plan.
“What we have done today is to bring together all the stakeholders in the metal sector, which is critical to industrialisation, to look at how we can develop and attract more investors into the sector through the right policies and strategies,” the Minister said.
PANA reports that Nigeria currently has three major steel industries which are near comatose.
The most ambitious of them is the multi-billion-dollar Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Company in North-central Kogi State.
Established over 30 years ago, the company has since not produced to its installed capacity.
The other two are the Osogbo Steel Company in the South-west and the Aladja Steel Company in the South-South.
Nigeria currently spends about US$3.3 billion annually on the importation of steel, despite boasting a high deposit of iron ore.
Analysts say if the Backward Integration Policy is well implemented, it will boost the industrialisation process in Africa’s most populous nation and one of the continent’s leading economies.