Capacity gap bane of Nigeria’s steel sector, says Sunny Eromosele
Speaking with The Guardian in an exclusive interview in Abuja, Eromosele said while there is the opportunity to serve as a destination for steel in Africa, urgent efforts must be taken to build capacity locally.
He noted that the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and other moribund steel companies in Nigeria would have remained viable if there were concerted plans to grow local know-how.
Eromosele, who disclosed that his organisation is currently working on addressing some challenges in the sector, said the industry would be instrumental stabilising the nation’s economy as well as providing jobs for citizens.
“There is a great future in steel in Nigeria. If in the future Ajaokuta Steel starts operation, we will provide needed support because it will provide a lot of jobs. Steel is very important to human existence.
Most of what we have as materials like shoes, wristwatches are part of metal. We have large deposit of it that has not been developed.
“Lack of planning and in-country skill development is responsible for the moribund steel companies we have in the country today. Foundering is critical in national development,” he stated.
He said the Federal Government must find a way to license modular steel companies to spur manufacturing and other economic activities in Nigeria, stressing that the continuous import of steel in the face of abundant raw materials is shameful.
Describing skill development as future currency, Eromosele noted that it was high time for Nigeria took advantage of the opportunity in emerging African countries just the way the British did.
“The exploration of hydrocarbon energy in most of these Africans countries can be leveraged on. The future currency is skill. Nigerians need skill otherwise foreigners will come and take over the jobs. Most of the factories we have today are moribund because they do not have the engineers to sustain them,” he stated.
As an ISO 17025 accredited Nigerian based testing, calibration and inspection company offering services to the oil, gas and allied Industries, he said Mudiame hase been implementing and operating standard practices that conform fully to the requirements of ISO 9001:2008, and EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard in all activities.
“What we want to achieve is to ensure we perform all tests ranging from mechanical destructive test to non destructive test (NDT), civil test, and chemical analysis in Nigeria instead of going overseas. We already have well equipped one stop laboratory, international wielding institute, human capacity and international partners.
“Today, some of my trained workers are working in some of those companies. To me, it is a huge success because I am not the only one existing but I have the largest coverage in the industry. We currently offer service to almost all the operators across sectors,” Eromosele said.
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