Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said despite being the 12th largest iron ore resource country in the world and the second largest in Africa, about 70 percent of the deposits in Nigeria are yet to be proven, a pursuit the federal government declares it is now engaging in.
He said earlier today in Ilorin at the foundation laying ceremony of Kam Steel Integrated Complex at Jimba Oja, that the federal government “is well aware of this issue and is currently looking at options to solve the challenge, including synergising government capacity and private sector competencies for certifying existing deposits.”
Noting that steel is the world most’s important engineering material; the Vice President restated the Buhari presidency’s determination to bring about a faster industrialization process in the country through the active development of the steel sector.
According to the Vice President, Nigeria has about 2 billion metric tonnes of iron ore reserve, adding “we must be extremely ambitious in our industrialization efforts”. He explained further that the need for increased levels of investment in Nigeria, “has never been more crucial than at this period in time.”
Prof. Osinbajo stated that steel plays an important part in the Buhari administration’s economic agenda, and therefore called on other operators in the steel industry in the country to ensure Nigeria “becomes a net exporter of steel within the shortest possible time”.
The Vice President who was accompanied by the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed and Solid Minerals Development Minister, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, among others, spoke to a gathering of captains of industries, financial experts, political leaders and stakeholders at the foundation laying ceremony, disclosing that as part of demonstrating its commitment to the industrial development of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that everything be done so that Nigeria can make progress in respect of ease of doing business ranking this year.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that the federal Government has been putting in place the right macro-economic policies and is working to ensure an enabling environment for business to grow in line with the Change Agenda of the Buhari administration.
“This is why the President has given clear instructions that we must make signifiant progress in the ease of doing business ranking this year”, adding “diligent efforts are being undertaken to ensure this goal is achieved, including the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee, which has since commenced work with a very keen presidential oversight,” Osinbajo said.