25 April 2021 By Georgina Humphrey
The Director General of the National Metallurgical Development Centre, NMDC, Jos, Professor Linus Asuquo says the nation is endowed with vast coals deposit.
Professor Asuquo made this known in an interview with Radio Nigeria in Abuja.
He said the coal deposits cannot be used one hundred percent for production of Metallurgical coke hence the centre is conducting studies to increase its utilization in blends for Metallurgical coke production at the Ajaokuta steel plant.
This he stressed necessitated the construction of a coke oven pilot plant at the centre to test the results.
“The metallurgical industry also comprises the non-ferrous sector made up of tin, lead, zinc, copper, etc. which are abundant in Nigeria” he added.
Speaking on how the nation can harness Nigeria’s Metallurgical potential, Prof Asuquo said the completion and full-scale operation of the Ajaokuta plant will create over two million direct and indirect jobs and serve as a catalyst for industrial and technological development.
” if the Ajaokuta steel plant is operational not less than two million people will be gainfully employed directly or indirectly” Professor Asuquo explained.
He appealed to the federal government to match words with action by making sure the Ajaokuta steel plant is functioning for wealth and job creation.
According to the NMDC boss experts in the steel sector had for long been calling for engagement of Russia to complete the plant.
It also describes president Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of a bilateral agreement with the Russian government as a turning point.