Nigeria To Become Net Exporter Of Steel By 2014
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 | 16:30
Nigeria is to become one of the steel exporting countries by the year 2014, according to projections by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).
This was disclosed by the Director General of SON, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, at the commissioning of the Phoenix Steel Mills Limited, Thermo Mechanically Treated (THT) plant in Ogijo, Ogun State.
Odumodu lamented that despite the efforts of past governments from 1970s till date, including the signing of international bilateral agreements and exchange programmes for transfer of the technological know-how in steel manufacture, the sector is yet to attain its desired level of growth.
The development, according to Odumodu, will, however, be a thing of the past in the next two years, as various companies in the steel and iron rod sector are beginning to spring up as a result of government’s intervention to encourage private sector participation in the steel sector.
He maintained that, despite the challenges confronting the sector, the few operators still flying the flag of local value addition, in line with the industrialization policy of the country, are trying their best and deserve commendation, even though the combined level of output and quality standard is not yet what it should be.
The THT plant, according to the SON boss, is a $20 million project, while the firm currently has about 1,000 workers in its workforce, noting that besides producing basic steel products needed for a variety of industrial and commercial uses, the steel sector also generates direct and indirect employment for a sizable proportion of the population, while also supplying basic raw materials to allied industries and sectors.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Group Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Sunil Goel, said the essence of the multi-million dollar investment in the THT plant was informed by the need to produce steel and iron bars with enhanced strength combined with high ductility and excellent weldability without loss of strength at welded joints as a way of further discouraging the importation of substandard iron rods.
THT bars, according to him, are thermo-mechanically treated through world leading Tempcore-based technology for high yield strength. Phoenix Steel Mills Limited is part of a group of companies engaged in manufacture of steel, binding wire and wire mesh, quarrying of granite and importation of rice into Nigeria, while its overseas companies are engaged in the manufacture of edible oil, manufacture and export of garments to USA and Europe, hospitality business and real estate.