says there is need for synergy between government, academia, industry and other stakeholders to develop the steel industry
in the country.
Bolaji-Hassan made the call on Wednesday in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on the sidelines
The three-day conference, tagged: “Zaria 2018″ with theme “Exploration and Exploitation of Minerals for National Development
and Sustainability’’ was held at the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria.
Bolaji-Hassan said that the call became imperative in view of the significant role of each of the parties toward developing
the sector, thereby taking Nigeria to the next level of development.
The NMS president advised that there should be a united fold that binds government, academia, industry and other stakeholders, noting that
“each one of them must be abreast of the kind of minerals available, how to process, as well as its importance and value.
“You cannot develop the steel industry without talking about the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources because
it is from these mineral resources you get a lot of other raw materials to be used to run the steel plants.
“So, we have discovered that for many years, some of these exploration and exploitation that have been done in Nigeria were
not properly handled.
“This is because foreigners will come, deceiving us that they are looking for a particular mineral but take the whole of our
heavy mineral and tell us that they want copper but in that mineral they take, there is gold, tantalums and the rest.
“And, they buy them cheaply, export and process for the benefit of their own countries.”
Bolaji-Hassan advised Federal Government to get involved in exploration and exploitation, where Nigeria would
do the exploration and exploitation itself.
He observed that without steel, no nation had ever developed and assured that without steel, no nation would ever developed.
He added that “each of the 36 states of the federation is sitting on one mineral or the other and some states are blessed with
about 10 minerals.”
On the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Bolaji-Hassan said: “there is no government that takes the bull by the horns to say steel
first, because steel will give birth to so many other things: even agriculture.
“Today, we are talking of mechanisation, again, the Niger bridge we are thinking of building, we are not going to use
wood but steel; all these will be imported.
“The money to be used in importing the steel is enough to put the Ajaokuta Steel company into shape,
a project started as far back as 1979.”
He, therefore, stressed the need for government to have the political will to actualise the objectives for which the steel
company was initiated.
Edited by: Vivian Ihechu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu