Despite Gulping $7bn, Nigeria Steel Sector Remains Unstable

After about 50 years, the country is yet to establish a stable iron and steel sector despite the huge investment of over $ 7 billion already expended on steel development, a document from the Raw Material Research Development Council has shown.

Nigeria imported $1.18 billion worth of steel materials in 2020 according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

From the statistics available from the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria imported iron, steel and metals, valued at N837.76 billion in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2021.  According to the statistics, the country imported basic metals, iron and steel products with 600mm in width, rolled, painted and coated, varnished and coated with plastics within the six months period.   The total value of basic metals imported within the two quarters was N748.529 billion while that of iron and steel was N88.232 billion.

Nigeria is blessed with all the major raw materials needed for the production of iron and steel.  These, according to the document, include three billion metric tons of iron ore, three billion metric tons of coal, more than 700 million metric tons of limestone and 187 billion SCF of natural gas.

Yet, the country is still far behind the major producers in the world.

The document also reveal that among the top 10 highest producing countries as at February 2022 were China, 7.5 million Mt, India; 10.1 million Mt; Japan, 7.3 million Mt; United States, 6.4 million Mt; Russia, 5.8 million Mt; South Korea produced  5.2 million Mt; Germany, 3.2 million Mt; Brazil, 2.7 million Mt and Iran, 2.5 million Mt.

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