WORLD BANK TO FUND 10-YEAR ROADMAP FOR THE STEEL AND METALS SECTOR

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The Honourable Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu has held a meeting with the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria and West Africa, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, and his team on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Abuja to discuss securing funding for financing the 10-year roadmap for the steel and metals sectors.

Prince Audu, in his discussion with the World Bank Nigeria team, said that the Ministry of Steel Development was specifically created by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s led renewed hope administration to address the protracted challenges facing the steel industry.

The Honourable Minister also noted that the creation of the Ministry of Steel Development by Mr. President is to give direct focus to the strategic sector that would become the bedrock of industrialization in the Nigerian economy.

He said that the Ministry of Steel Development is seeking the intervention of the World Bank in line with its mandate to enhance the contribution of the steel sector to the Nigerian economy by driving local production of steel to substitute imported steel production, which has been draining the nation’s foreign exchange to the tune of over 3 billion US dollars per annum.

Prince Audu said that, to this effect, collaboration between the new ministry and the Bank has become critical to giving the Nigerian steel industry the needed solid foundation for sustainable growth and development.

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The Honourable Minister stated that “as a new ministry expected to midwife the country’s industrialization, we desire the support of the Bank to develop a ten (10) year roadmap for the steel industry in Nigeria.

“The roadmap document is expected to encapsulate our development trajectory with timelines, the roles of different stakeholders, and a robust mechanism to track recorded milestones.

“Our target is to attain a crude steel production output of 10 million metric tonnes per annum by the year 2030. The estimated cost for the realisation of the roadmap, including different review sessions and stakeholder’ engagements, amongst other areas of critical/technical support, was put at five million US dollars.”

The Honourable Minister also thanked the World Bank for the milestone achievement recorded in its intervention, the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MinDiver), under the defunct Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, who joined the meeting virtually, said that the Bank was ready to support the ministry, noting that he and his team would explore the best financing options that would enable the ministry to achieve its mandates.

Also present at the meeting were Ms. Bertine Kamphius, Programme Leader, Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions for World Bank Nigeria, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Mary Ogbe, Coordinator (MinDiver), Mr. Salim Saalam, Director, Steel and Non-Ferrous Metals Department, Mr. Umar Adamu; Director, Metallurgical Inspectorate and Raw Materials Development Department, Engr. Fred Ewah; amongst others.

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