By Bennett Oghifo
Premium Steels & Mines Ltd., a state of the art steel manufacturing facility at Ovwian â€“ Aladja, Delta State, would meet more than 50 per cent of the domestic steel requirement, during the first phase of production, Prasanta Mishra, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company has said.
This will also result in valuable foreign exchange saving for the nation, as this steel need is currently being met through imports.
Mishra made this pledge at the official commissioning of the steel and mining facility recently.
Formerly known as Delta Steel Company (DSC), the 32-year-old facility is rated Nigeriaâ€™s foremost and only integrated steel plant estimated to produce 1.2 million metric tons of various steel products per annum. The plant has since been retooled is ready for production.
Mr. Mishra reaffirmed the determination and uncommon disposition of their world-class engineers and technicians to sustainably and inclusively converge with the rest of the world to enhance Nigeriaâ€™s industrial growth and subsequently, raiseGross Domestic Product (GDP) by touching the lives of the local communities through accessible and affordable healthcare, employment, women empowerment and education.
Also adding that the steel sector is a stimulus to the overall Gross Domestic Product of the country, Mr. Mishra said, Premium Steel and Mines is excited that present government dispensation under the leadership of President Mohammadu Buhari, has initiated a simultaneous and wide-ranging investment plan in infrastructure, which is expected to boost the demand for steel, while also serving as the backbone of Nigeriaâ€™s industrialisation.
Commending the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the director said Dr. Kayode Fayemiâ€™s strong initiative contributed immensely to the success of the revived steel plant. Dr. Fayemi, who had earlier laid the three-phased Road Map in Steel and Mines Development, said the â€œMinistry can contribute $27 billion about (N9.7 trillion) to the countryâ€™s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025â€
The phase one of the roadmapis aimed at stabilizing the sector and rebuilding the countryâ€™s market confidence between 2016 and 2018, while the second phase will focus on establishing Nigeria as a competitive African mining and mineral processing center from 2016 â€“ 2020 and the third phase is geared at helping Nigeria build sustainable global competitive mining sector and related processing industry.
Mr. Mishra said the benefits of having a functional steel industry cannot be overemphasized, especially when viewed against the multiplier effects it has on all facets of the economy, including the important role steel plays ingrowth of the automotive industry, which is one of the largest GDP contributor in the World.
The company director is optimistic that the Nigeriaâ€™s industrial development would in no distant time serve as the foundation of efforts to address poverty and inequality through employment and wealth generation.
â€œWe dare to say therefore, that we are one of the best Nigerian Steel Plants to produce the BS4449 grade steel, TMT and other value-added products of high capacity that can be used for high-rise buildings, bridges, flyovers, malls and other skyscrapers due to its tough mechanical and high yield strength.â€