As the Federal Government continues to make efforts to revive the long-abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Company and the steel sector in general, reports have it that Nigeria has lost one million tons of steel manufacturing products and about 30,000 jobs between 2017 and now.
This is according to the Social Integrity Network (SINET), a Non-Governmental Organisation. The loss in one million tons of steel manufacturing products and about 30,000 jobs is said to be as a result of high rates of smuggling, importation of substandard products, high conspiracy and connivance among Customs Officer. The perpetrators of illegal acts are not left out as well as wrong declarations of goods to the tune of over 200 containers.
The group called on the Federal Government to urgently device effective policies in order to curb smuggling in the steel sector.
More details: In a statement, SINET’s National Coordinator, Mallam Ibrahim Isah asked the government to look into the issues affecting the steel sector, one of which is the high conspiracy and connivance among Customs Officer and perpetrators of illegal acts.
“We cannot fold our arms and allow smuggling to take over our economy thereby subjecting us to high economic risk and massive downsizing of industrial workers. Many local industries have collapsed due to high rate of importation of substandard products such as coloured corrugated roofing sheets, aluminium roofing sheets as well as galvanised corrugated roofing sheets,” Isah said.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to enact a strong national policy which would further protect the economic interest of the local manufacturers.
What you should know: The Federal Government recently got a proposal from MetProm Group, a Russian firm to rehabilitate Ajaokuta steel company. The Russian firm had expressed a desire to rehabilitate and maintain the steel mill when fully operational.