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Steel sector will drive governments economic development-Minister

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Middle; Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, Honorable Minister of Steel Development, far right; H. E, Uba Maigari Ahmadu; Hon. Minister of State; immediate Right, Sen. Patrick Ndubueze, Chairman Senate Committee on Steel Development; Left,  Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Dr. Mary Ogbe with Rep. of the Chairman, House Committee on Steel Development,  Deputy Chairman House Committee on Steel Development, Hon. Yusuf Umar Datti, at the Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Ministerial Management Retreat held at the K-Class Hotel, Abuja on the 21st March, 2024.

By Victoria Onehi

The Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu has assured Nigerians of the Ministry’s committment to deliver on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Key Priority of growing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country for sustainable economic and infrastructural greatness through the Steel Sector.

The Minister gave this assurance while delivering his keynote address at the 2-Day Ministerial Management Retreat Organised by the Ministry to chart a course for achieving its Presidential Priorities held on Thursday 21st- Friday, 22nd of March, 2024 in Abuja.

According to him, the reviewed Presidential 8-Key Priorities has the Steel Sector as focal point for driving the economic development of the country. “A critical evaluation of the eight (8) Point Agenda suggests the critical place of the Steel sector in the realisation of these goals especially in the areas of industrialisation, manufacturing and unlocking the natural resources potentials of the country”

Speaking further, Prince Audu, while giving an overview of the steel industry from conceptualisation in 1958, stated that despite the history of Steel Development in Nigeria in the past four decades, the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration has shown willingness to address the protracted challenges facing the industry. According to him, the creation of Ministry of Steel will give direct focus to the sector for it to become the bedrock of industrialisation of the Nigeria economy. 

In his remarks, the Minister of State of the Ministry, Uba Maigari Ahmadu, stated that the Retreat will afford the Management Staff the opportunity to dissect each of the eight key priorities of the administration and explore ways to  translate them into actionable strategies for the  Ministry. 

He noted that the retreat will offer the valuable opportunity to: deeply understand how each of the eight priorities intersects with the steel industry; Develop a comprehensive Roadmap that will align to the Ministry’s strategies with the Eight Presidential Priority areas; Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure progress and ensure accountability; Formulate Actionable Plans with realistic timelines and resource allocation for each priority area; Foster collaboration between the Ministry, the National Assembly, and stakeholders across the industry, among others.

He urged members to actively participate, share insights, and engage in constructive dialogue,  open discussions, brainstorming sessions, adding that participants should use the opportunity to make a tangible difference for the steel industry and for the nation.

 Delivering her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Steel Development/Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Mary A Ogbe, stated that the theme of the retreat, “Delivering on the Eight Presidential Priorities,” aligns perfectly with the Ministry’s goal of ensuring the optimal utilisation of the country’s steel resources for the overall benefit of the nation and its citizens. 

She implore participants to actively engage in the deliberations and contribute constructively towards charting a path forward for the steel industry that will propel the nation towards a brighter and more prosperous future.

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Steel Development, Sen. Patrick Ndubueze, reiterated the importance of the Ministerial Management Retreat as it offers an avenue for stakeholders to brainstorm, propose as well as propound ways to move the sector forward and harness the benefits for economic development of the country. 

Earlier, in his goodwill message, Chairman, House Committee on Steel Development, Dr. Zainab Gimbal, represented by the Deputy Chairman, Hon. Yusuf Umar Datti, stated that the House Committee attaches great significance to the development of the steel sector, as it would provide about five thousand (5000) direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians when optimally developed. 

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