By Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite has requested the National Assembly to allocate more funds to the steel sector to enable it create more jobs for Nigerians and increase its contribution to the country’s revenue.
He told the House of Representatives Committee on Steel defending the ministry’s 2022 budget: “Government, having identified the huge opportunity emplaced therein, envisages the sector as a viable source for significantly growing the economy and causing a paradigm shift from dependence on oil as a major revenue earner for the country.
“The ministry is proposing a budget of about N23.4b for 2022 as against N24.4b in 2021.” He reiterated the need for increased budgetary allocation and if approved, funds promptly released: “It will help increase revenue of the country.”
Minister of State, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, noted: “The ministry has moved up in revenue generation in the last nine months from N2million to N6million.” He urged the committee to allocate more funds for the sector to enable it contribute more to the country’s GDP. Chairman of the committee, Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali Halims, said: “The development of the steel sector is sacrosanct.” He acknowledged the contribution of steel to the mining sector and revenue generation for the country.
He claimed: “Corruption and mismanagement in the past largely affected the development of the steel sector,” promising committee’s commitment to collaborate with the ministry to move the sector forward.