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Don advocates resuscitation of Ajaokuta, Warri steel companies

Prof. AbdulGaniyu Alabi of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, on Thursday advised the Federal Government to resuscitate primary iron-making facilities at Ajaokuta and Warri Steel companies to ensure quality iron products in Nigerian markets.

The professor of Material Science and Engineering (MSE), gave the advice while delivering the fifth Inaugural Lecture of the institution at its mini convocation arena at Malete, Kwara.

He said that Nigeria would move into the much needed industrialisation era if the Ajaokuta project is completed, adding that the economic value chain that could develop from the project would be colossal.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture titled: “Striving for Global Relevance on the Platform of Minerals, Metals and Materials,” was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulRasheed Na’Allah.

“It is a generic quote that a nation that fails to develop its iron and steel resources (if it is as lucky as Nigeria), would be far from industrialisation.

“Our steel industries (Ajaokuta and Delta Steel companies) must be revitalised, for Nigeria to achieve its potentialities industrially; so that we can be reckoned with in the comity of nations,” he said.

Alabi, who is Provost, College of Engineering and Technology, harped on the need for Nigerian governments and Nigerians to invest heavily in solid minerals to key into the nation’s next major economic resource after oil.

He also advocated the enactment of laws that would force industries to patronise Nigerian universities and research centres by providing funds for research.

The inaugural lecturer charged the government to enact laws, to force mineral prospecting agents in the country to add value to the mineral ores before export.

“More recently, Alabi and Kayode (2019) assessed the quality of rods (imports) used for construction in a cement manufacturing site, and concluded they complied with standards.

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“The overall importance of the work is to ensure safety of operations in construction and manufacturing, and to avoid failure of structures that are rampant in Nigeria,” he noted.

According to the university teacher, the department of MSE must be interdisciplinary to accommodate physicist, chemist, and biologists with strong mathematical background.

“The specialists must work together with materials/ metallurgical engineers, to grow new materials for the advancement of technology.

“All members of staff of the department must register either with COREN if he/she has engineering background, or with COMEG- Council of Mining Engineers and Geo-Scientists, if s/he is a scientist, to develop career-wise,” Alabi recommended. (NAN)