The African Iron Ore and Steel Association on Monday in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to cancel the privatisation of Zuma, Osogbo and Delta Rolling Mills. The companies were sold in 2005 under the privatisation policy of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on recent developments in the steel sector, the Executive Secretary of the Association, Dr Sanusi Mohammed, said that the rolling mills had remained dormant since they were sold. Mohammed said that the continued closure of Osogbo and Zuma Mills was hampering the growth of the industryâ€œwhich is the bedrock of the nationâ€™â€™s industrialisation.
â€œWe cannot be talking about attaining Vision 20:20-20 when our steel sector is lying dormant. Most countries with vibrant steel industries, rely on steel as the main stay of their economies.
According to him, the entire process of privatisation is wrong, epsecially that of Delta Steel, â€œbought at almost no costâ€ and not yet producing to capacity with several other irregularities. He, however, said that government as regulator and administrator had a role to playâ€œ firstly by canceling the privatisation process and giving the companies to more capable investorsâ€.
Mohammed, who expressed concern over the redundancy of steel workers, said that if the mills remained non-functional for several years, the mills would get rid of their skilled workers.