Bashir Bello : Abuja
The minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the Ajaokuta Steel and mine company has reached about 98 percent completion as the result President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort to rejuvenate Nigeria’s industrialization process.
Dr. Onu who gave the special address during a seminar tagged “Ajaokuta Steel Project and President Muhammadu Buhari’s Industrialization Agenda which was took place on Thursday 25 November at the Nigeria Army Resource Centre, Asokoro Abuja .
The Hon. Minister who was represented by Director General, National Board for Technology Incubation Engr Dr. Mohammed Jibrin lamented that successive administrations neglect of Nigeria’s agricultural and industrial sectors in favour of petroleum exploration has stunted Nigeria’s industrialization drive .
“We are all aware that the agricultural sector was the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy accounting for over 42 percent of the commodity earnings and about 70 percent of total government earnings through exports of agricultural produce.
“Dr. Onu further explains that
“Nigeria has a wealth of agricultural and mineral deposit resources like iron ore, but the Nigerian government did not develop these sectors because of the diversion to the oil sector as a major import earner.
The Minister further explained that as the result of the diversion, other critical sectors of the economy including industrial development were neglected.
However, he added that the the efforts by President Buhari to re-engineer the economy towards industrial development has led the ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the private sector to organized the conference on Ajaokuta Steel Project.
“We are gathered here today to see how the Ajaokuta Steel Project could assist in the economic growth and development of the country”, he said .
The minister further reiterated that the Ajaokuta Steel Project has the capacity of creating huge employment opportunities for Nigerians, generate wealth creation and reposition the Nigerian economy.
Chairman of the Occation, Otumba Dele Ajayi-Smith President African Citizens’ Development Foundation
commended the private sector and other stakeholders for their efforts in galvanising support for the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to set Nigeria on the part of industrial development.
Otunba Ajayi- Smith added all the presentations and ideas sourced from the conference would be worked on and then they would be the subject of advocacy by the participants in the seminar.