A university teacher, Prof. Dave Esezobor, on Thursday advised the Federal Government to pay more attention to the steel sector, to accelerate the nation’s development
Esezobor, of the Department of Metallurgical and Materials, University of Lagos, gave the advice at the 2nd Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Stakeholders’ Forum (MISF), South-West Zone, in Lagos.
The forum had as its theme: ‘Developing SMEs in the Metal Sector for Economic Diversification, Job Creation and National Prosperity’.
According to him, Nigeria is endowed with all that is required to be a global leader in solid minerals.
“Without metal base, Nigeria will still be moving round at the same spot annually.
“First, there is no regulatory framework for the steel sector, and we need to have this framework for the sector to move forward.
“It will make people accountable and give the positive results needed to move on.
“There is also an urgent need for the resuscitation of the public steel industries in Nigeria.”
According to the don, such moribund industries are now a national disgrace, and something has to be done about them.
“I have always said that an independent body solely for the steel sector is necessary, for it to make headway,” he said.
The professor of Extractive Metallurgy and Materials Processing noted that without a solid metal base, the small and medium scale industries would find it difficult to flourish.
Esezobor said that with the introduction of a metal base, such small and medium industries would continue to improve on the quality of materials they were producing.
He said that the department had been able to solve the heavyweight issue steel products were associated with.
According to him, the department has done this by generating materials from metal that have exceptional lightweight properties, which can be used in the manufacturing of motor vehicles and aeroplane body parts.
Esezobor said that without a metal base, no amount of funding committed to the power sector would yield the desired result.
He advised the government to commit about 50 per cent of what it had been spending on the power sector to steel development, to achieve such development within a year.