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FG reaffirm steel sector research development

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By Usman Oladimeji

NMDC has the potential to contribute to Nigeria’s economic development.

Shuaibu Audu, the Minister of Steel Development, has reiterated the government’s steadfast dedication to boosting the country’s economy through the implementation of a reliable research framework for the steel industry. This information was shared during a two-day visit to the National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC) in Jos, Plateau State, where he was accompanied by the permanent secretary, Dr. Mary Ogbe. The Minister highlighted the importance of continuous exploration and investigation in order to enhance products and services within the sector, underscoring the critical role of research in driving progress.

According to Audu, the National Metallurgical Development Centre serves as a vital research hub for the country’s steel sector and its significance transcends historical value. He recognized the essential role of research in propelling the steel industry forward, stating that a nation’s progress is closely tied to the advancement of its steel sector. Pointing out the special qualities of the NMDC, the minister said it plays an active role in supplying necessary research and development support for the advancement of the mining, minerals, and related industries, especially concentrating on Nigeria’s steel sector.

Members of NMDC urged to strengthen the steel sector.

Audu stated that the NMDC is a unique facility in West Africa, offering comprehensive services for mineral assessment and processing, research and development, testing of minerals and metals, and environmental analysis. With adequate resources and support, the centre has the potential to significantly contribute to the country’s economic development by enhancing local expertise throughout the mineral supply chain. He also revealed that the NMDC is dedicated to focusing on research and development efforts to transform discoveries into successful small and medium-sized businesses.

In recognition of the paramount contributions of SMEs in boosting the economy, the minister revealed plans for the centre to conduct specific research projects to meet industry demands and make the most of Nigeria’s plentiful metallurgical resources. The minister encouraged the NMDC members and staff to work together to strengthen the steel and metals sector and make it essential for industrial growth. He urged them to rekindle their passion, motivation, concentration, and loyalty in order to assist the ministry in fulfilling its objectives.

Research is essential for the advancement of steel production.

When speaking, Dr. Ogbe encouraged the employees to uphold discipline, follow guidelines, and collaborate as a unified team to enhance productivity at the National Metallurgical Development Centre. Prof. Linus Asuquo, the director-general of NMDC, highlighted the importance of research in the steel industry, saying that research is essential for the advancement of steel production. Asuquo who noted the central role of the centre in the steel and metals industry, expressed confidence that with the guidance of the ministers and permanent secretary, the NMDC would evolve into a top-tier hub for minerals and metals research, on par with leading steel research institutions worldwide.

Recently, Audu visited the Plateau State governor Caleb Mutfwang, to evaluate the National Metallurgical Development Centre’s challenges and potential opportunities. During the visit, he pledged the ministry’s dedication to working closely with the Plateau State Government to rejuvenate the Jos Steel Rolling Mill, which has been rebranded as the Zuma Steel Rolling Mill, to benefit the people of Nigeria. Mutfwang responded by reassuring the state’s readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government in revitalizing the steel sector to spur economic development.

Related Article: FG set to cut $4bn annual steel imports

The revitalization of the steel would have a positive impact on the state, with the Jos Steel Rolling Mill expected to generate numerous employment opportunities for the residents of Jos once it is up and running. The minister’s visit to Jos, Plateau State also featured a courtesy visit to the Gbong Gwom Jos and a tour of the Zuma Steel Rolling Mill, as revealed by the ministry’s head of press and public relations, Tine-Iulun M.A.

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