Indigenous stakeholders in the iron and steel sector in the country, have appealed to the federal government
to employ the services of local investors in revitalising the Ajaokuta Steel Plant in Kogi State.
They said it is the position of the general public that Ajaokuta Steel Plant should work again and in the hands of local investors.
Speaking during a meeting of stakeholders in iron and steel sector in Ilorin, Kwara State on Thursday, the chairman, Basic Metal, Fabricated Iron and Steel Products, Dr. Kamoru Yusuf, said that Nigeria needs to pride herself as the giant of Africa by making judicious use of her highly talented, patriotic and committed indigenous investors.
“Without mincing words, the assets of Ajaokuta Steel should not be handed over to foreign investor(s), rather, it should be managed 100 per cent by a competent indigenous investor who had demonstrated capability with evidence of success stories on existing steel plants and wire processing factories.
“With this, government can and may own 40%, while the investor will own 60%. This will no doubt, enhance easy, sustainable, and rewarding business fortunes for the nation. Every phase and process of the investment must be given cognizance attention and priority.
“We believe that with policy shift, some benefits will accrue. This would complement the backward-integration policy of the government, which seeks to preserve our scarce foreign exchange and create employment for millions of Nigerians directly and indirectly.
“There will be more liquidity in the Nigerian economy and Nigeria would have the opportunity of competing with her peers in the continent and across the globe.
“It will minimise brain drain to foreign countries in the name of search for greener pasture, especially among our teeming youths.
“Nigeria would be able to participate successfully in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and compete favourably among countries in the continent.
“Ajaokuta will come with good opportunity of reinvigorating the automobile sector of the economy after a successful installation and commissioning of ultramodern machineries,” Yusuf added.