Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and former Delta State gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has commended the Federal Government support and encouragement for the development of Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Warri, Delta State and other steel industries in Nigeria.
He equally hailed the Government move for the proposed Metallurgical Industrial Bill, which is at the council for approval., adding that when it is approved it will support the growth and development of the steel industry in Nigeria.
Onuesoke made the commendation on the sideline during the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite facility tour of Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Warri, Delta State, recently.
The Minister, while advising Premium Steel and Mines Limited to speed up production process, disclosed that the mandate of the Ministry is to expand the steel sector, use it to diversify the economy, create jobs and generate revenue for the government.
He explained that Government is willing to do everything to support the industry, adding that is why they have proposed a Metallurgical Industrial Bill, which is at the council for approval.
Reacting to the Minister’s statement, Onuesoke said Premium Steel and Mines Limiited would save the nation more than a million tons of steel in import and conserve about $600 million in foreign exchange when operated at full capacity.
Stressing that the steel sector is a stimulus to the overall Gross Domestic Product of the country, Onuesoke disclosed that it is exciting that the present government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has initiated a simultaneous and wide-ranging investment plan in infrastructure, which is expected to boost the demand for steel, while also serving as the backbone of Nigeria’s industrialisation.
He emphasized that Premium Steel and Mines Limited when in full production will motivate Nigeria’s industrial growth and subsequently, raise Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by touching the lives of local communities through accessible and affordable healthcare, employment, women empowerment and education.
The PDP Chieftain explained that since the plant started production, it has been producing quality steel products, which have been delights of reputable companies like Dangote, Julius Berger, CCECC and many others, adding that, “Every day, finished products are being evacuated from the company’s yard for supply to their clients.”
He observed that when the plant is fully revamped for the full turn around and production to installed capacity, importation of long steel products into Nigeria will come down to less than 50% of the current importation profile which will subsequently save foreign exchange to boost the Nigerian economy.
He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to consider a review of the tariff on the importation of raw materials for steel production.
“The Federal Government should grant waivers as a form of incentive for the growth of the steel sector, focus on infrastructure growth and have a national steel policy open to the public domain. Government should strive for a sustainable increase in per capita steel consumption of Nigeria, which is far below the developed economies. What I am saying, in a nutshell, is that the government should give steel companies an enabling environment so that the steel companies can thrive,” he appealed.