NASENI & NMDC AGREE TO WORK TOGETHER ON ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION THROUGH RESCUCITATION OF MINING & MINERALS DEVELOPMENT SECTOR.
“Nigeria’s economic diversification efforts would not give the nation the desired socio-economic targets or depths in creating jobs or wealth and to tackle social vices associated with unemployment if the strategies do not take into accounts the conversion of the natural resources and minerals into finished products thereby creating the windows for the manufacturing sector to add values to the economy.”
With these words by the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) Engr.Prof.Mohammed Sani Haruna today in Jos, Plateau State, the Agency kickstarted the long-awaited working collaboration between NASENI and the National Metallurgical Development Centre(NMDC) located in Jos, Plateau State.
The collaboration is toward exploring value addition in the mineral and metals subsector through research and development (R&D’s)of abundant local raw materials found in the country’s soil.
NMDC is the Federal Government Centre with the mandate and responsibility to undertake, through laboratory research and tests, mineralogical appraisal, examination and evaluation of minerals deposits and endowments in the country and to carry out samples for the purpose of ascertaining the minerals spaces contained in Nigeria soil.
Other functions of the NMDC include carrying out applied research and also developing both conventional and refractory products, using mineral raw materials, and improving the performance of the processes used in metallurgical and allied industries through the applications of scientific knowledge to the solutions of problems related to steel production, fabrication and utilization.
Activities of the Centre was targeted by Government to be the feeders of raw materials to yet to take off Ajaokuta Steel complex, Itakpe Steel rolling complex and other iron smelter industrial complexes which their lack of full take off had slowed down the industrial development of the country which was essentially needed in the development of iron and steel components to succeed.
But with the agreement now in the works between NASENI and NMDC, hopes are brightened, and the roles of NASENI as Nigeria’s foremost Agency responsible for designing, development and production of critical engineering infrastructure in order for the Centre to add value to the mineral and metals subsector is being boosted with the agreement.
The Director-General/Chief Executive of NMDC Prof.Linus O.Asuquo who was optimistic about the benefits of the budding collaboration said that:
“the good works which NASENI is carrying out in the country are well known to all, therefore ” NASENI’s capability to transform NMDC’s outcomes through engineering and industrial uses will no doubt bring about rapid industrialisation capable of addressing unemployment, poverty and safe foreign exchange for our dear country, Nigeria”
In the emerging collaboration, Professor Haruna said that both organizations would commit themselves to the economic diversification agenda of the Federal government by ensuring that Iron and steel, minerals and metals subsectors of the economy are explored to the benefit of the citizens thereby redirecting people’s minds from oil.
NASENI will fabricate the machines and all needed capital goods and equipment by NMDC while the centre on its part will continue to carry out the required research and development into the discovery of more of Nigeria potential mineral and metals deposits in the country which are the very critical foundational possessions which Nigeria must have before dreaming of our own peculiar type of industrialization or industrial economy.
“We cannot industrialise our economy without paying attention to the conversion of the nation’s minerals both solid and soft into viable uses. Also, our diversification efforts will not be successful without fabricating the needed tools, machinery, capital goods and equipment to process iron, steel or other minerals deposits”, said Prof Haruna.
He also disclosed that NASENI had no alternative than to collaborate with NMDC because doing so amounted to fulfilling the mandate and vision of NASENI as the only purpose-built Agency of the Federal government established to provide engineering infrastructure, creation of capital goods, machines and equipment aimed at industrializing the country.
The tour of Facilities of NMDC continues tomorrow for on site assessment of the various needs of the centre in anticipation of NASENI’s imminent interventions.
Olusegun Ayeoyenikan Deputy Director, Information