Nigeria can save over 700 million dollars spent to import steel materials annually if the National Iron Ore Mining Company Ltd. (NIOMCO) is rehabilitated.
Mr Augustus Nkechika, the Acting Sole Administrator of NIOMCO said this on Thursday in Itakpe when Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development paid a familiarisation visit to the company. According to him, the location of NIOMCO is strategic.
Nkechika noted that there were several iron ore deposits and steel making materials located within the radius of 100 kilometers from the company’s industrial plant which had direct rail line to Ajaokuta Steel Company.
He said these deposits had appreciable reserves, suitable metallurgical qualities confirmed to be suitable for steel production in the country.
“This figure can also be seen as potential savings if NIOMCO plant is rehabilitated and properly funded to supply the iron ore requirements of Ajaokuta Steel Company and Delta Steel Company respectively,’’ he said.
He noted that in addition to land mass and population, the strength of a nation could also be viewed from the amount of steel it consumed.
Nkechika added that the 12.2 million tonnes of steel production goal of the Federal Government Vision 20:2020 which at the moment was apparently unachievable could still be kept in focus as the Economic Recovery Growth Plan is executed.
He, however, said that manpower was one of the company’s major challenges that should be addressed urgently aside proper funding. The acting sole administrator said that the company’s current highly skilled and experienced manpower aging.