The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Friday called on state governments to grant tariff and tax incentives to operators in the steel sector to enhance industrialisation in the country.
Fayemi made the call at a Town Hall meeting organised by his ministry for stakeholders in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The minister noted that such a gesture would encourage private sector participation in the industry and subsequently contribute to the industrialisation agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He also stressed the need for the resuscitation of the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company for the meaningful development of the steel sector.
Fayemi said: “We need to consider local content in steel.
“The Ajaokuta steel company has the capacity to produce 1.5m metric tonnes and can be expanded to 3m metric tonnes annually.
“Today in Nigeria, we consume about 7m metric tonnes annually but we produce about 3m tonnes.
“That means that the remaining 4m metric tonnes are being imported.
“I think we need a combination of tariff and tax incentives in our steel sector.
“We cannot achieve industrialisation unless we conquer steel.”
Fayemi disclosed that officials of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission and auditors from state governments engaged in mining, would meet to consider modalities for appropriate percentage for derivation.
The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said successive governments in the state neglected the mining sector, in spite of its huge potential.
Amosun called for the employment of modern technologies in carrying out mining activities, to enhance industrialisation in Nigeria.
The Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, commended the Federal Government for the meeting, which according to him offered the stakeholders an opportunity to exchange ideas.
Ashiru added that the programme had become necessary, particularly “at a time when Nigeria is diversifying its economy through the development of solid minerals, as an alternative source of income in the light of dwindling oil fortunes”.
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