The importation of metals into Nigeria gulps $3.3bn every year, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, stated on Monday.
He stated this in his remark at the takeover ceremony of assets of steel plants of Standard Metallurgical Company Limited in Ogun State by KAM Steel Integrated Company Limited.
KAM Steel, a subsidiary of KAM Holding, acquired SMC at N60bn.
Adegbite, who was represented at the ceremony by his Senior Special Assistant, Technical, Olu Adedayo, said despite the fast growth of Nigeria’s economy, the country was not producing liquid steel.
In the remark, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja, the minister said, “The Nigerian economy with a Gross Domestic Product of about $440bn is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa without the production of liquid steel.
“Although Nigeria has over 30 steel manufacturers. It can only produce 2.2 million tonnes per annum using scraps and billets imported mainly from China.
“It is on record that Nigeria spends an average of about $3.3bn importing metals annually.”
Adegbite therefore congratulated KAM Steel for its indigenous effort at steel making in Nigeria.
The Chairperson, KAM Holding, Iyadunni Yusuf, said the decision to acquire SMC was part of efforts to boost the capacities of KAM Steel in iron and steel production.
Yusuf said the company would create 10,000 jobs and urged the Federal Government to support indigenous manufacturers in boosting local capacity in the steel production sector.