Following the nation’s dwindling economy and need for diversification of the economy from crude oil which is going down to other sectors of the economy, last year President Muhammadu Buhari and his Russian counterpart signed a Memorandum of Understanding,
The MOU is on the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta steel plant whereby the Russians are to come into the country to access the plants but following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that project is still on hold.
It was against this backdrop that recently the Federal government moved to resuscitate the Aluminium Smelting company of Nigeria ,AISCON, in Akwa-Ibom state to rob mind with the state government and see how the plant can function optimally.
One of the delegation and Director General of the National Metallurgical Development Centre Jos, Prof Linus Asuquo during the event called for strong political will and adequate funding of the manufacturing sectors to revamp the nation’s economy for sustainable development.
Speaking during an interview with Kapital Fm in Abuja, after the visit to AISCON, Prof Asuquo pointed out that Nigeria was naturally endowed in Silica sand, Glass and Clay sand and stressed the need for adequate exploration of these minerals to create enormous job opportunities for youths.
He explained that the different minerals has various uses which when properly harnessed will industrialized the country.
Prof Asuquo, also advocated for enabling environment such as stable power supply accessable roads amongst others to woe investors into the Manufacturing sectors.
The Director General of the NMDC, emphasised the need for tripartite synergy between the State and Federal Government for efficient exploitation of the nation’s minerals resources.
Prof Asuquo said there were ongoing plans by the Federal Government to connect ALSCON to National Grid, assuring that it remains the fastest way to industrialized the country.
According to him with the establishment of a processing plant in the country, dependency on foreign importation of aluminum raw materials would be reduced thereby saving much production cost.
Speaking on the Metal bill currently before the national Assembly, prof Asuquo expressed optimism that it will regulate the activities of the Metallurgical sector and reduced substandard products.
He added that research development remains very vital to save enough raw materials for efficient production of metals in the country.
Georgina Humphrey/ Abuja