After 40 years of inactivity, the National Iron and Ore Company, NIOMCO, received a green light from the federal government on Friday during a visit to the multimillion-dollar iron and ore complex in Itakpe, Kogi State. The assurance was made by Shuaibu Audu, the country’s Minister of Steel Development. Audu stated that NIOMCO is a priority for the Renewed Hope Agenda that is being led by Tinubu’s administration, and he will make sure that it functions while he is in office.
While he was inspecting the company’s facilities, he made the statement that his ministry would ensure that the president’s mission to industrialise Nigeria was fulfilled because it was granted to both him and the ministry by the leader of the country. He added that certain things need to be done in order to initiate steel manufacturing in Nigeria. One of these things is to attempt to resurrect the Ajaokuta Steel Company along with the Itakpe Iron and Ore Mining Company.
CNG buses will be provided to private and public sector workers.
Kogi State is home to many of Nigeria most valuable assets, including multibillion-dollar facilities and steel plants. Additionally, Audu noted that the president had pledged to provide thousands of CNG buses to private and public sector workers in Nigeria. He stated that a recommendation to make gas cylinders at Itakpe would be included in the ministry’s 2024 budget. His experience in Ajaokuta has convinced him that Itakpe has the potential to become a major supplier of gas cylinders for the CNG facility.
Itakpe is going to be very important to the president’s strategy for rekindling optimism. They are going to prepare a budget, and it is hoped that the budget will be embraced by the National Assembly, and eventually the President will sign it. He went on to say that it would include a provision to modernise some of the plants in Itakpe, which would make it possible to produce some of the gas cylinder elements needed for the CNG buses.
The firm needs attention to its infrastructure and technology.
On his part, Augustus Nkechika, the Sole Administrator of NIOMCO, remarked that Ajaokuta could not be significant within the steel industry without the National Iron Ore Mining Company, which is also known as NIOMCO. Nkechika also expressed worry over the state of the firm and pleaded with the government to pay serious and in-depth attention to the matter in order to ensure that the location, in addition to Ajaokuta Steel firm, would be revitalised in terms of its infrastructure and technology.
In addition, he mentioned several other challenges, such as a shrinking and ageing workforce, the need for capacity building, increased safety, and improved participation from stakeholders. Nevertheless, he expressed enthusiasm that with the presence of the Minister at the facility, NIOMCO would become active again, as he was hopeful that. In light of this, they will be able to overcome the obstacles and pave the way for a more promising future for the steel sector in Nigeria.
Economy will be transitioned off its dependency on oil and gas exports.
Similarly, a further report by AskNigeria revealed that the federal government promised that the 8th Edition of the Nigeria Mining Week would bring out the full potential of the mining industry to transition the economy off its dependency on oil and gas exports. The Nigerian Ministry of Mines and Steel Development’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mary Ogbe, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja ahead of the mining week, which will be held in Abuja from October 16-18, 2023, that stakeholders from the industry would be there to discuss the role that the country’s vital mineral resources play in fostering economic growth and long-term prosperity.