Ajaokuta, Solid mineral sector: Al-Makura makes case for proper funding

By Haruna Salami

The Chairman, Senate Committee Solid Mineral and Steel Development, Tanko Almakura has said that there is great hope for the solid mineral sector to grow in the country.

The former of Nasarawa state disclosed that the framework for effective growth of the industry  has laid in the budget which the committee presented before the main Appropriation committee Thursday.

However, he said, “the so much talked about economic growth and diversification, which the solid minerals is supposed to drive among other sectors like agriculture and power may not be realized if certain special consideration is not made to the Ministry of Solid Minerals to drive this process”.

According to him, solid minerals have the capacity to create wealth across the country because every state has natural endowment. “There’s no state that doesn’t have one kind of solid mineral or another.

Almakura advised that the government take into consideration the wide spread-presence of these minerals across the states and give proper funding to the sector to realise the multiplicity of opportunities it offers across the states.

“One very vibrant sector that has left in deep slumber and that is Ajaokuta Steel Company. We have talked many times over about the need to reactivate this company and I know for a fact that the president is very passionate to ensure that before he takes a bow out of office,   Ajaokuta would very effective and drive the process of proper industrialization in this country.

However, he regretted that “the funding is the greatest problem” in addition to “certain bureaucratic redtapism around agencies, in the ministries have stalled this most desired projects”.

He used the opportunity of speaking to journalists after presenting his committee’s   to ask the ministry to “wake up and pursue this project all the energy and focus it deserves” adding  “it is only then that we would be able to have confidence that the so much expected industrialization of this country through the Ajaokuta Steel Company is achieved”.