The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, said the Federal Government was prepared to remove obstacles and roadblocks affecting investments, industrial and trading activities in the country.
He made this known while laying the foundation of KAM Steel Integrated Project at Jimba Oja, near Ilorin.
Osinbajo said over two billion tonnes of iron ore reserves, representing 70 per cent of the mineral deposit in the country, were yet to be explored in spite of global demand.
He noted the challenges currently facing industrialists in the country, stressing, however, that the Federal Government was poised to remove all obstacles in the way.
He expressed Federal Government’s commitment to fast track the country’s industrialisation and ensure that there was conducive environment not just for industrialists but for the steel industry. Steel, Prof. Osinbajo said, remained the world’s most important engineering material for economic extraction and refining technique, with Nigeria as the 12 largest iron ore resource nation in the world and second largest in Africa.
According to him, the steel needs of the country are immense, going by the current rate of consumption of the product in construction companies, automotive and assembly refineries and tiles and rubber.
“We have found that one of the ways to achieve this goal is by making Nigeria more business-friendly by attracting local and foreign investment, thereby creating the much needed jobs.
“We are committed to divesting the economy away from over-dependence on oil and creating an enabling environment to facilitate private sector-led growth and development.
“The Federal Government is investing in critical infrastructure by encouraging the private sector and advocating growth inclusion, particularly job creation among other social safety net initiatives,” the vice president said.
He added that the Federal Government was prioritising key areas such as manufacturing, agriculture and agro-allied sectors and solid minerals “because we are determined to diversify the economy through increased production and export promotion.
“We will support companies such as KAM Industry and promoting local material content and patronage of made in Nigeria goods.
“We are targeting an enabling environment from which it is progressively easier to do business.
“Our policies are predictive and consistent with macroeconomic stability, with government as partner to business and investment and not a competitor.”
In her address, the Deputy Managing Director of the company, Hajiya Bolanle Yusuf, said KAM Industry was making history in developing the economy of the country via the steel industry.
She said “it is more worthy to state that the Integrated Steel Company will remove many more people from the streets, thereby reducing unemployment in the country.
“There cannot be any meaningful development in the country’s economy without a conscious effort at developing the steel sector.
“The cold Steel Rolling mill that you have seen earlier today is fully functional. It started like a dream, but today, it has become a reality,’‘ Yusuf told the vice president.
In his remarks, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara said steel was crucial and significant for the economic growth of the country.
He urged stakeholders to join hands with government to revive the steel sector in the country.
The governor assured the management of the industry of the state government’s cooperation and urged Nigerians to patronise made in Nigeria goods to boost the economy.