The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) said in Lagos that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in steel and rods production by 2014 because of increased investment in the sector. Dr Joseph Odumodu, SON’s Director-General told journalists when he visited steel mills in Lagos that SON was putting the necessary mechanism in place to meet the target by 2014.
Odumodu said that the organisation had engaged the sector to ensure its products competed favourably at the international market. According to him, with the recent surge in the investment in the sector, the sector is capable of meeting local demand in the next two years. “The steel industry is the engine of any economy anywhere in the world in terms of importance, and we have to, as a country, ensure that within the next two years we stop the import of reinforcement bars into Nigeria.
“I can tell you, once that is done, we’ll begin to count our blessings in terms of number of employment that we’ll generate. I am an apostle of `let Nigerians pay the salaries of Nigerians; let Nigeria stop paying the salaries of foreign workers.’ ’’
Odumodu stressed that SON was ready to partner with any company that required support in the area of standardisation of its products. According to Odumodu, besides the sector’s contribution of basic steel products needed for industrial and commercial use, the steel sector also generates direct and indirect employment. He said that companies involved in the importation of steel should always consider backward integration by investing in steel production.