Don tasks FG on iron, steel development

A university teacher, Prof. Joseph Borode, has urged the Federal Government to develop the iron and steel sector for economic development.Borode made the call at the 84th inaugural lecture of the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure, while speaking on “Materials: Sine Qua Non for National Development.”

He decried the country’s low capacity in steel production and its effect on a nation’s technological advancement.He disclosed that a report by the National Minerals and Metals Policy showed that the annual per capita consumption of steel in Nigeria is 10kg, while the corresponding world’s average is 130kg.

The don added that the country is lagging behind in steel consumption when compared with other African countries like Algeria with 42kg/capita, Egypt with 36kg/capita and Zimbabwe with 25kg/capita.

Citing the UNDP report of 2001, he disclosed that Nigeria is the 13th poorest nation in the world with very low human development index, despite her enormous human and material resources.

While urging government to strictly maintain its supervisory and regulatory functions, he explained that steel is indispensable in the modern world, as it has lifted many societies out of poverty.

The professor of metallurgical and materials engineering condemned the lack of adequate funding of research and development in the universities, which, according to him has greatly affected the growth and well-being of industries in the country.

Borode also urged the local industries to collaborate with universities to strike the necessary synergy for economic development.He said the Federal Government should provide the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.The school’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola described Borode as a foremost researcher who has contributed greatly to national development.

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FUTAJoseph Borode
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