‘Nigeria Spends Over N500bn To Import Building Materials Yearly
Nigeria spends over N500 billion ($3.3 billion) every year to import building items such as roofing sheets, nails, roof tiles, headpans, gauze wire, the minister of industry, trade and investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, has disclosed.
He said that these building materials were produced from steel and iron ore minerals.
Aganga made this known in Ilorin, Kwara State during a pre-commissioning visit of the cold roll mill project of Kamwire Steel Industries, Ilorin.
He said the money spent on the importation may increase from $3.3 billion to $15 billion in the next few years if necessary measures were not put in place in the nation’s industrial policy.
The minister, who said that despite Nigeria being the second largest producer of steel and iron ore in Africa, it imports products from steel and iron into the country, added that any country that relies entirely on exporting raw materials without having a strong industrial and related services sector would remain poor.
“So if people like Alhaji Kamaldeen Yusuf and others do not do what they are doing, we will remain poor as a nation, our youths will not have jobs in this country. That is why it is important we all embrace industrial revolution plan and encourage industrialisation,” he said.
The minister, who said Kamwire industry presently creates more than 3,000 jobs, added that the employment capacity could multiply to 9,000, going by industrial standard and talking of the end users like housing industry etc.
He also described the sector as the backbone of economic or industrial development of any nation, saying the country was blessed for having one of its own leading in that sector.
He said the federal government would continue to create the enabling environment for the private sector to drive the economy, adding that “that is what we have done so far and which we need to do a little bit more.”
The minister said the industrial revolution plan of the present government was the most robust and comprehensive industrial plan Nigeria has ever had,emphasising that the objective of the policy was to diversify the nation’s economy and revenue sources.