Don describes Nigeria’s mining sector as ‘dark age’



An industrialist, Professor Daniel Nnamdi Obikwelu, has said the Nigerian steel sector is still a dark page on Nigeria’s industrial development as well a challenge to Nigerian metallurgical professionals.
He said a simple comparison of efforts made by Nigerian leaders and those made of other nations shows how woefully,Nigeria failed to industrialize.
“Delta Steel Company (DSC) started production in 1982 operating direct reduction route to produce direct reduced iron (DRI) for steel production.It was observed that countries operating similar direct reduction module like Nigeria recorded huge progress and industrial development,” he said.
According to the don, Brazil hit her installed capacity after 10 years, adding that “Argentina hit and surpassed theirs after seven years, Venezuela after 11 years, Egypt after sixyears, Iran after 10 years, Saudi Arabia after three years, India after seven years.”
The professor went further to say South Africa hit above 50% of its installed capacity in four years while DSC (Nigeria) operated forthree decades without attaining recordablepercentage of her installed capacity.
While saying that the position of steel in national planning should be given due regard in the scheme of things, he noted that lack of will on the part of Nigerians to be in the world steel league was also responsible for the deplorable state of the industry.
Giving reasons for failure, he said “poor feasibility studies done by Russia (TPE) and Germany for AJSC and DSC respectively, design error, inappropriate technology, and organizational structure of the steel companies to accommodate the Nigerian factor” are factor which voided the effort.
According to him, “improper running of the ancillary units like National Metallurgical Development Center(NMDC), the Raw Materials Research and Development Council and lack of professional monitoring of the Nigerian steel industry were also responsible for failure.

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