Nigeria’s steel giant, KAM Steel Integrated Company, a subsidiary of KAM Holdings, has acquired the N60 billion Steel Plant Assets owned by the Standard Metallurgical Company, (SMC) in Sagamu, Ogun State, as part of efforts towards boosting its capacities for the Iron and Steel production.
The firm however promised to create about 10,000 jobs to Nigerians and urged the federal government to expedite actions towards supporting indigenous manufacturers in local capacity building for Steel Industry in the country.
Speaking on Monday at the official handing over ceremony of the assets, the Chairperson of KAM Holding, Dr. Iyadunni Bolanle Yusuf, stressed that, “If Nigeria must come out of the wilderness of poverty, unemployment and insecurity among other social vices, the Federal Government must deploy its machineries to support local manufacturers in their bids to survive and grow.”
According to her, “The Steel Industry being a very important integral part of the nation’s economy necessary for speedy economic growth and socio-infrastructure development, there is need for government to focus more on the sector, recognise and declare Iron and Steel as national products to boost our foreign exchange earnings in the face of dwindling price of oil in the global market.
“In 2016, His Excellency, Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria performed the foundation laying of our integrated steel plant with rolling mills in Jimba-Oja, Kwara State and by the last quarter of 2019, the project was completed ready to contribute to the local steel market.
“Today, KAM Steel has acquired the steel plant formerly owned by SMC and we believe that with this milestone, our capacities would increase tremendously and will reposition Nigeria as a self sufficient nation.
“We hope that the Federal Government shall continue to provide the enabling environment and support for continuing the actualisation of the vision of the highly committed Nigerian behind this project.”￼
“It is our target to create about 10,000 jobs to promising Nigerians in the next coming months as a way of complementing government’s efforts in tackling youths’ restiveness, boost Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR), as well as promoting our Corporate Social Responsibilities in the society.”
In his remarks, the Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, said the Nigeria economy with a GDP of about USD 440billion is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa without the production of liquid steel.
He added that “Nigeria has over 30 steel manufacturers, but it can only produce 2.2million tons per annum using scraps and billets imported mainly from China. It is on record that Nigeria spends an average of about USD 3.3 billion importing metals annually.”
Represented by the Senior Special Assistant (Technical), Mr. Olu Adedayo, the Minister maintained that “The decline in GDP as a result of the fluctuating oil prices compelled the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to commit itself to the diversification of Nigeria economy, thereby prioritising the development of the minerals, metal and agricultural sectors.
“The Management of the Ministry has been working assiduously towards the enactment of the Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Bill so as to have an enabling law for effective regulation of the Metal Sector in Nigeria. The Ministry Solicited the support of all stakeholders, especially metal sector operators in order to realise this.
“The Ministry is also working hard towards fast tracking the operationalisation of ASCL and NIOMCO. The Government is encouraging Metal sector operators, especially local producers of metallurgical Mineral raw materials and steel metal products to synergize with miners towards ensuring local beneficiary of raw materials in Nigeria.
“This would put an end to the dig it and ship it syndrome and boost down stream activities in the metal sector for jobs and wealth creation, the FGN is also encouraging all metal sector operators to comply with set standard for the production of all metal products in order to ensure that our local products compete favorably in the international market. In order to do so, metal operators, artisans and other skilled operators in the metal sector are encouraged to sharpen their skills via the metallurgical training centres in Nigeria.
The FGN is working towards eradicating the import of metallurgical raw materials and products that can be produced locally and support the development of home-grown technologies in line with local content.
“It is therefore with immeasurable joy that I congratulate, MD/CEO, Dr. Kamorudeen and his team for achieving this great Milestone in the history of indigenous effort at steel making in Nigeria. Prior to the take over of standard Metallurgical Company (SMC) by KAM Industries, my metallurgical field officers had reported following their inspectorate duties
“The acceleration of industrial development lies primarily on the private sector while the government provides the enabling environment. “On this note, I want to once again congratulate KAM industry and thank stakeholders’ and everyone present here today. I wish you success in your future endeavours, thank you and God bless.”
Also speaking, the General Controller of Standard Metallurgical Company, (SMC) Mr. Hussein Nourdein, disclosed that the acquisition process was highly competitive stressing that, “At last, the powerful and giant finally have it. We are delighted that KAM Steel Integrated Company acquired our steel plant assets and we promise them our continuous working and business relationship.”