By Linda Ike
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite has constituted a 10 man National Steel Council to effectively execute central planing of the Industry.
Adegbite who spoke at the Inaugural ceremony on Tuesday in Abuja said the miming sector remains the backbone of the modern society as well provides all materials for public infrastructure.
He said the 10 man Committee, chaired by Muhammad Murtala Aliyu with Amb. Abdulkarim Musafari as its Executive Secretary, is mandated to execute their assigned duties in the Sector in order to realize the economic diversification agenda of the present Administration.
Adegbite commended President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that the approval of the Council is a step in the right direction as it will bring Nigeria closer to achieving self – sufficiency in Steel production,
According to a statement issued by the Director of Press, Chinwe Ekwugha, Adegbite affirmed his commitment to support the Board of Ministry towards realising their mandate
The Minister reeled out the Committee’s Terms of Reference to include, research and development for the Steel industry, comprising research and development of the technology and other aspects of Iron and Steel production and the utilisation of the products and by-products of lron and Steel plants.
He advised the Federal Government on the establishment of additional Iron and Steel plants and generally on the formulation of policies relating to the development of the Iron and Steel industry and other related industries in Nigeria, among others.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, expressed happiness at the composition of the board by the Federal Government.
He urged the Committee to fast-track the development of the strategic industry which according to him has become an index of power and economy, an economic nerve trigger, industrial raw material consumer, a foreign exchange earner and saver.
In her remark, the Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed urged the Committee members to bring their wealth of experience to bear in re- engineering and repositioning of the Steel Sector to actualise the Federal Government’s targeted economic growth.
On his part, The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, who was represented by the Director, Artisanal and Small – Scale Mining Mr Patrick Ojeka said the function of the Council is designed to cover areas that contribute in developing the relevant human capacity and necessary tools that will build up and sustain metallurgical and Steel Sector.
Responding, the Chairman of the newly inaugurated Council, Muhammad Murtala Aliyu, pledged that his team will assiduously work to achieve a milestone which will change the narrative of the industry and take the country to greater heights.