Nigerian mining engineers have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything legally possible to revive Ajaokuta steel plant in Kogi State, North Central, Nigeria in the interest of the nation.
The engineers under Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG) also appealed to the federal government to inaugurate its regulatory body to enhance development all profession in Nigeria.
President, Nigerian Society of Mining Engineers (NSME), Dr. Ebenezer Damiso made the calls during his visit to the secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna council.
“We urge the federal government under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything it can, to put into operation the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
“This will bring about rapid industrialization in the country and many mines will come on stream to provide mineral raw materials such as iron ore, coking coal, dolomite, magnesite, limestone as feedstock to the plant.
“The steel sector cannot succeed without a viable mining sector. With regard to employment, one million tonne per year, steel plant in a country like Nigeria would need to forge the specialized and not specialized skills and knowledge of not less than 10,000 workforce”, he explained.
COMEG was established through Act No, 40 of 1990 and was inaugurated on 12th September, 2000, targeted at the extractive industries, which undoubtedly constitute the backbone of the nation’s economy.
According to him, the COMEG board was dissolved at the inception of this administration and up till now, it has not been reconstituted.
“We are concerned that a regulatory and monitoring body of the mining sector has been left in a state of lethargy for over two years now. Some mining firms who would have been operating in the sector have been hampered.
“It is very disheartening that such an important body that regulates professionals and firms in the Nigerian mining sector has not had its board inaugurated since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration”.
The mining engineer attributed the under-performance in recent times to governance issue, which has a major obstacle to the optimal development of country’s solid minerals.
He said, “many of our state governments have not given the much desired cooperation to the federal authorities in the area of investment”.
He then urged the federal government to consider the issues so that the Nigerian mining industry can play the roles expected of it especially in the diversification of the Nigerian economy and provision of employment opportunities for unemployed youths.
POSTED BY EDITOR