• Friday, March 01, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Why Ajaokuta Steel Company needs urgent revival, by University lecturer

TCN suspends operations at Ajaokuta Steel over N33bn debt

Jamiu Kolawole Odusote, a professor at the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, University of Ilorin, has called for an urgent revitalisation of the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company and other Metals Companies for the nation to witness the much-envisaged economic transformation.

Odusote, who made the call while delivering the 246th Inaugural Lecture of the University titled ‘Engineering Materials Development As A Catalyst For Innovation,’ appealed to stakeholders, particularly researchers, to shift attention into developing local raw materials and mineral resources to solve the nation’s problems.

Such measures according to him would certainly ameliorate the prevailing challenges of energy, power, insecurity, unemployment and economic downturn.

Read also: Ajaokuta Steel Complex to generate $1.6bn, create 500,000 jobs

The Inaugural Lecturer advocated for technological advancement, even as he urged the government and institutions of higher learning to provide adequate facilities for training Materials Engineers at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the country.

He admonished the Federal Government to enact laws that will mandate manufacturing industries to fund research in the area of engineering materials development.

The don similarly appealed to the government to vigorously pursue the development of the metal sector of the nation’s economy in order to reduce the country’s dependence on imported metal products for her development.

Odusote encouraged stakeholders to insist that government ministries, departments and parastatals be mandated to always patronise research products from the universities and research institutes.

Read also: FG targets steel production from Ajaokuta in 3 years, to cost over $1.5 bn

He explained that doing so would encourage the development of novel materials for the advancement of human lives and the economy of the nation.

“The only way our locally developed products can be improved is by getting feedback from end-users,” he insists.

Odusote suggested that the government needed to provide special funds for the training of Materials/Mining/Metallurgical engineers at all levels if Nigeria truly intends to diversify her economy and join the League of Advanced Countries of the World.