By Ayoni M. Agbabiaka
Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has proposed a N23.4b budget for the 2022 fiscal year.This budget is slightly lower than N24.4b budgeted in 2021.Minister of Mines and Steel Development Arc Olamilekan Adegbite stated this while defending the budget proposal at the National Assembly on Monday.
He however, called for more fund allocation to the steel sector to enable it create more jobs for the Nigerian youth and increase its contribution to the country’s revenue.
He stressed that, “Government, having identified the huge opportunity emplaced therein (mining sector), envisages the sector as a viable source for significantly growing the economy and causing a paradigm shift from dependence on oil as a major revenue earner for the country.”
Also in his remarks, the Minister of State, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, noted that the Ministry has moved up in revenue generation in the last nine months, from about N2m to N6m.
Ogah equally urged the House Representatives Committee on Steel to allocate more funds for the sector to enable it contribute more to the country’s GDPEarlier in his opening remarks, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Steel, Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali Halims, stated that the development of the steel sector is sacrosanct, while acknowledging the contribution of steel to the mining sector and revenue generation for the country.
He however pointed out that corruption and mismanagement in the past had largely affected the development of the steel sector and promised his Committee’s commitment to collaborate with the Ministry to move the sector forward.