Abdullahi Halims, the chairman, House of Representatives committee on steel development, has assured that Ajaokuta Steel Company and other steel companies across the country will begin to function effectively within the next four years.
Halims, in an interview with journalists, on Tuesday in Abuja, pledged that Aladja Steel Company and Katsina Steel Rolling Mills would also function optimally.
“At the end of four years, I want to tell you by the grace of God, we will see the Ajaokuta Steel Company working very well. We will see the Aladja Steel rolling out mills, we will see the Katsina Steel rolling out mills and the entire steel sector making gains out of production,” he said.
Halims lamented that the Nigerian steel industry, established as a base for industrialisation, had remained unproductive. The lawmaker identified outdated laws that were no longer favourable to the sector as among major factors militating against the progress of the industry.
He said the sector had not done enough to enable Nigeria to achieve its target of becoming one of the world’s top economies by 2020. According to the chairman, the main objective of the committee is to ensure implementation of policies that would stimulate and reposition the sector to serve as the backbone for industrialisation.
Halims said the benefit of having a functional steel industry included job creation that would guarantee economic growth for future generations. The legislator said without a vibrant steel sector, the oil and gas sector which earned the highest gross domestic product in Nigeria’s economy will not exist.
He said pipelines, refineries, tank farms, railways, automobiles, vessels, turbines, modern bridges, razors and knives, among other things would be lacking without a functional steel sector. The parliamentarian maintained that Nigeria had come a long way and that there was need for the steel sector to play its role as a vital instrument of growth. He said the committee,