…says Ajaokuta Steel Coy capable of generating 515, 000 jobs
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineers, NIMMNE, yesterday, disclosed that Nigeria’s iron ore and lead can generate over N292 billion for the country’s development.
This was made known by the Chairman, NIMMNE, Ayodeji Adeyemo, at his investiture in Abuja, and lamented that with the enormous mineral resource provided by God for the country the mining sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, is yet to be rise above one per cent, which according to him 2018 report of Geology and Mineral Resources of Nigeria put the nation’s estimated deposits of iron ore at 3 billion tonnes, while lead/zinc has 10 million tonnes.
He further stated that the, if past administrations were committed to the exploration and exploitation of the huge mineral deposits of gold, coal, cassiterite, tantalites, and others the development of the country through the long-expected industrialisation, would have placed the nation on an enviable height.
He said: “Despite the growth of about 240 per cent observed in the GDP contribution of these minerals between 2011 when it was N52. 5 billion and 2017, the contribution of mining to the overall GDP reduced from 0.14 to 0.11 per cent.
“This is far too low compared to the earning potential of minerals available in Nigeria. For instance, with the available reserves of iron ore and lead, the nation can generate $280 billion and $12 billion respectively.”
According to him the National Bureau of Statistics in its data made available in 2016 indicated that the GDP of coal, metal ores and other mined products including quarry was N102 billion when the recession was biting hard rose to N126 billion in 2017.
He also maintained that the cardinal position of the mining sector in the economy cannot be overemphasized, especially in industrializing the nation, and added that Ajaokuta Steel Company has the capacity to generate 15, 000 direct jobs and 500, 000 indirect jobs.
However, he pointed out insecurity as a very important issue that should be tackled by the government holistically, more money should be pumped into the mining sector, and also create strong and sustainable synergy between the government, investors, academia, and communities should prioritise prompt and timely completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company.