By Victoria Onehi
The Ministry of Steel Development is to collaborate with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission for the development of the sector in general and the Revitalisation and Operationalisation of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA) Kaduna and the National Metallurgical Institute, Onitsha.
This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of State, Ministry of Steel Development, Uba Maigari Ahmadu when he played host to the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Aisha Rimi in the Ministry’s Headquarters on Thursday, in Abuja.
He enumerated the areas of collaboration to include among others: Organizing local and international investment fora for relevant stakeholders to showcase the full potentials of the NMTI with the view of attracting investments and funding for modernising and upgrading the institute’s facilities, curriculum, and training programs to meet industry international best standards and demand. Also,to develop Policy Reforms and incentives that would be inclusive but not limited to legal, governance, finance tax incentives, and regulatory reforms that would reposition the institute to contribute more meaningfully to national manpower and infrastructure development.
In a statement by the Ministry,the Minister listed more areas of collaboration to include: Identifying local and international multilateral, multinational, Institutional and venture capitalists who can inject technical and financial capital into revitalizing the institute and position it as a center of excellence for metallurgical training and skills development.
“Establishing a PPP (Public Private Partnership) framework for the revival of NMTI that would involve engaging with private sector stakeholders, such as steel companies, mining firms, and educational institutions, to form partnerships aimed at modernizing the institute and aligning its training programs with industry.” the Minister said.
Additionally, the Minister disclosed that, Niger Extraction Company Ltd, a Nigerian Company registered to undertake mining and steel development has sent in a proposal for the establishment of a $300m Steel Plant in Niger State, a development which according to him, indicates that the Steel Sector is set to take off and deliver on its mandate.
Maigari Ahmadu expressed the Ministry’s willingness to leverage on the expertise and networks of NIPC, noting that the collaborative efforts of both Organisations would help attract private sector investment, modernize exploration techniques, and enhance the capacity of NMTI and NSRMEA to fulfill their mandates.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Steel Development/Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Mary A Ogbe, while expressing optimism that the collaboration between the Ministry of Steel Development and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission is a step in the right direction, reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to ensure the goals set during the deliberations are achieved. She added that it was time the Steel Sector brought the needed prosperity to the people of Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary proposed the establishment of a Technical Working Group (TWG) with members drawn from the Ministry of Steel Development and NIPC, with the sector specific experts who will develop a framework that will enhance the development of the sector on a general scale and the National Metallurgical Institute, Onitsha and National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA) Kaduna, specifically.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Aisha Rimi stated that the Commission’s mandate is to provide assistance to investors seeking to enter the and those that are already in the country. She disclosed that NIPC has extensive and robust Departments that assist in carrying out adequate care and after care for investment and investors.
Rimi assured of the Commission’s commitment to ensure all assistance is given to the Steel Sector to promote direct foreign investment into the country.