OrderPaperToday – The Senate Committee on Solid Mineral and Steel Development has rallied support for the solid minerals sector, including the revitalization of Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Chairman of the committee, Sen. Tanko Almakura, hinted that a framework for effective growth of the industry has been laid in the budget which the committee presented before appropriation committee.
According to him, “the so much talked about economic growth and diversification, which the solid minerals sector is supposed to drive among other sectors like agriculture and power, may not be realized if certain special consideration is not made to the Ministry of Solid Minerals to drive this process”.
The former Governor of Nasarawa State said solid minerals has the capacity to create wealth across the country because every state has natural endowment, stressing: “There’s no state that doesn’t have one kind of solid mineral or another.”
Sen. Almakura, who is representing Nasarawa North, advised that the government should take into consideration the widespread presence of these minerals across the states and give proper funding to the sector to realize the multiplicity of opportunities it offers across the states.
“One very vibrant sector that has been left in deep slumber is Ajaokuta Steel Company. We have talked many times over about the need to reactivate this company and I know for a fact that the President is very passionate to ensure that before he takes a bow out of office, Ajaokuta would become very effective to drive the process of proper industrialization in this country.”
The lawmaker regretted that “the funding is the greatest problem” in addition to “certain bureaucratic redtapism around agencies, departments in the ministries have stalled this most desired projects”.
Speaking with journalists after presenting his committee’s report, he asked the ministry to “wake up and pursue this project with all the energy and focus it deserves”, adding “it is only then that we would be able to have confidence that the so much expected industrialization of this country through the Ajaokuta Steel Company is achieved”.