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Mining: Repositioning Nigeria as a global steel, iron producer with value addition

L-R: Alok Gupta, Group Managing Director of African Industries Group; Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Mines Solid Minerals, and Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment; and Dr. Mary Ogbe, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry During a Tour of the Iron Ore Processing Platnt, in Kaduna State Recently

*The Federal Government asserts the new fully integrated iron processing plant in Kaduna State is Nigeria’s largest non-oil Foreign Direct Investment in the mining sector, marking a significant stride in utilising its wealth to make real wealth for Nigeria

*Company offering local value addition to the minerals mined in Nigeria, says Dr. Oladele Alake

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government and industry stakeholders have emphasised that concerted efforts in the mining sector over the past years have culminated in the establishment of $600 million fully integrated iron ore processing plant, reputed to be the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country’s mining sector.

The plant is said to have the capacity to produce six million tonnes of steel per annum.

ConsumerConnect reports the African Industries Group says the completion of its iron ore mining and processing plant at Gujeni, in Kagarko Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria, has signalled the beginning of Nigeria producing iron and steel in needed in the construction sector.

Alok Gupta, Group Managing Director (GMD) of African Industries Group, also harped on employment and wealth creation prospects associated with the project during a recent tour of the new plant in Kaduna State by Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Mines Solid Minerals, and Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment.

Gupta explained that the journey, which started in 2016 with the community development agreement and land acquisition, has culminated in the establishment of a fully integrated iron ore processing plant with the capacity to produce six million tonnes of steel per annum.

The GMD of African Industries Group further stated: “The plant is Nigeria’s largest non-oil FDI and marks a significant stride in the direction of utilising its wealth to make real wealth for Nigeria.

“The Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) produced here will be a direct substitute for ferrous scrap currently used as raw material for producing steel in Nigeria. It will also gradually position Nigeria as a prominent Crude Steel producer globally.”

In his remarks during the tour, Dr. Alake said that the company is providing local value addition to the minerals mined in the West African country.

The Minister’s affirmation at the event further underscores his recent pronouncement, the value addition is now the standard for Federal Government of Nigeria to award mining licences to prospective investors in the industry.

Alake stated: “It’s not just going to mine our iron ore and export it away but they are going to process and refine it here.

“So, I am happy that we have an example to show to the rest of the companies that are in Nigerias’ Mineral sector. “This is a company that is worthy of emulation and I commend the GMD for this remarkable achievement.”

The Minister for Solid Minerals Development also said: “The Minister of Trade and Investment and I have gone round and seen the massive investment.

“Infact, it is reputed to be the largest Foreign Direct Investment in the Mineral sector of Nigeria with about 600 million Dollars.”

He also stated: “I want to say categorically that I had to inform the President that I am coming here.

“He told me to convey his appreciation to you and that he supports you.

“This is the practical example of it when we say we want to restructure the economy.”

Also speaking during the of the mining processing plant, Minister Uzoka-Anite  stressed that her Ministry is working on the industrial revitalisation plan with a full focus on steel.

She noted: “The reason we want prioritise steel is due to the realisation that it is the bedrock for infrastructure development that will revive our industries.”

The Minister said that there would be no accelerated growth in the sector without the approval of the Infrastructure Development Fund that will see the construction of roads and rail lines across the country.

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