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Steel workers canvass use of indigenous iron

The Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN) has called on Federal Government to direct foreign contractors to use locally made steel in construction to create market for producers.
The Association’s National Secretary, Mr. Titus Orimijupa, who at an interactive session with newsmen  in Lagos stated that lack of  market’ for locally produced steel had been inhibiting the Federal Government’s effort to transform  the industry.
Said he: “The only revival of the iron and steel sector could create massive employment opportunities for the citizenry”
According to him, the importation of steel into the country had rendered no fewer than 100, 000 steel workers jobless.
“The proliferation of imported products has killed the industry and government lacks the will power to stop the trend and to complete its iron and steel sector transformation projects,” he noted..
“If the foreign contractors are mandated to use locally produced steel, a lot of employment will be generated for youths and graduates,’’ he added
The labour leader, who stated that  the challenges facing the iron and steel industry in the country ranged from political to technical,.also called on the nation’s banks to provide the required capital for investment in the sector, adding that the gestation period could be longer than in any other business.
The ISSSAN secretary added: “the importation of any product was a direct way of creating employment for other countries, while denying Nigerians employment opportunities.
“The Ajaokuta Steel Company alone could employ 30, 000 graduates and also create about 75, 000 jobs for non-graduates.”

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