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Stakeholders Worry as steel Import Rises

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  • Stakeholders Worry as steel Import Rises

The Federal Government and stakeholders in the manufacturing sector have expressed worries over the low production level of steel and the huge amount spent on steel imports annually.

Annual steel production in Nigeria is put at under two million metric tonnes per annum, (about 0.11 per cent of global steel) while import is five million tonnes.

According to a Former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, Nigeria spends up to $4.5bn on steel imports yearly.

Also, local Annual Per Capita consumption is less than 10 kilogrammes compared to the world average Annual Per Capita consumption which stood at 208kg as at 2016.

Worried about this development, the Federal Government is making moves to boost local consumption of steel.

The Assistant Director (Steel) in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Ime Ekrikpo, gave this indication in Lagos during the Annual General Meeting of the Basic Metal Sectoral Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

While presenting a paper on the theme of the AGM which was, Revival of Ajaokuta Steel Complex and Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria-Priority for Developing the Metals Industry in Nigeria, Ekrikpo said the government was concerned about the low per capita steel consumption in Nigeria and had the intention of increasing the consumption to 100kg by 2020.

He said, “The steel and aluminium sector substantially needs to be grown in the area of internal production and consumption to support and stimulate growth in virtually all sectors of the economy due to its importance in the industrialisation drive of the government.”

Ekrikpo added that the government had intention of exploring and exploiting the potential of the solid minerals sector and adding value to them.

“At the moment, the private sector is running the steel sector in Nigeria 99.9 per cent with the major metals recycling companies numbering about 95. Only about 35 or less of them are still active but operating at very low capacities (less than 20 per cent) producing less than 200,000 tonnes per annum,” he stated.

He attributed the low production capacity of the steel sector in Nigeria to the high cost of production which made the sector uncompetitive among other global players.

According to him, major steel rolling mills at Ajaokuta and Katsina have been privatised with only Katsina (Dana Steel Mills) being operational with upgraded facilities.

Jos was also privatised but is currently not operational, while Delta Steel Rolling Mill is partially operational, he said, adding that Ajaokuta steel mill was in arbitration.

The outgoing Chairman, Basic Metal, Iron and Steel and Fabricated Metal sectoral group of MAN, Chief Oluyinka Kufile, in his welcome address, observed that several product lines from the steel industry such as; iron rods, wire rod, steel coils, metal doors and others, as well as the products to produce them efficiently were inadequate due to insufficient raw materials and absence of policy environment to support the industry.

He acknowledged the efforts of government in creating enabling environment for industrial growth and also banning exports of scrap metals, a major raw material for the steel industry.

The new Chairman of the group, who was elected during the AGM, Kamarudeen Yusuf, urged the government to check importation of finished product manufactured from steel, saying that this was the only way local manufacturers could be competitive.

He said the government should also encourage underwriting insurance companies to come into the country and assist investors in getting their projects underwritten.

He disclosed that his firm, KAM industries, was set to inaugurate a 300-tonne capacity steel rolling mill (an equivalent of Ajaokuta steel rolling mill) before year end.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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MTN Nigeria, Gameloft Partner to Increase Access to Variety of Exciting Games

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MTN Nigeria announced it has partnered with Gameloft, a leader in the development and publishing of games, to increase access to a variety of fun and exciting games online.

The telecommunications giant in collaboration with its new partner, Gameloft announced the launch of MTN Gameworld, a new gaming platform for its subscribers.

According to MTN, the new platform will allow the Nigerian growing gaming community access to a lot of unique games online through an extensive premium catalogue from Gameloft and other renowned publishers.

Commenting on the partnership, Srinivas Rao, the Chief Digital Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “We are constantly seeking to deliver innovative products that support the aspirations of our customers, whilst delivering superior user experience. This partnership allows us to provide our customers with access to a variety of exhilarating games from Gameloft and other leading publishers at an affordable rate.”

MTN Gameworld will allow subscribed customers access to a variety of games, which they can play at subsidised data rates through the MTN Gameworld app. Android, iOS and Windows phone users can subscribe via SMS, app, web, USSD menu (*447#), 131 USSD menu and any other MTN customer channel.

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President Buhari Commissions 5,000bpd Modular Refinery Built in Imo State

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned the 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery built by Waltersmith Group in Imo State.

President Buhari, who commissioned the new modular refinery virtually, said the refinery will enable Nigeria to export petroleum products to neighbouring countries and other markets.

The 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery is the first phase of 50,000 barrels per day combined capacity plant planned for Imo State, according to the Group.

Buhari commended Waltersmith Group, an indigenous oil firm, and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board for the collaboration that led to the actualisation of the modular refinery.

President Buhari, therefore, directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Department of Petroleum Resources and all other relevant government agencies to provide Waltersmith all the necessary support in terms of access to crude oil and condensate feedstock.

Buhari said, “We rolled out our refining roadmap in 2018, to address challenges in the downstream sector. After many years of government giving out modular refining licences without any coming on-stream, we are today seeing a commissioning within two years.

“The plan to commence the expansion of this refinery to 50,000bpd capacity, to refine crude oil and condensate, is a demonstration of the economic reform Nigeria is undergoing.

“The realisation of the refinery roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, not only to our neighbouring countries but to other wide markets,” he said.

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Elon Musk Net Worth Jumps by $100 Billion this Year to Topple Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Others 

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Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Tesla, is now the world’s second-richest person following another surge in the price of Tesla share.

Musk total net worth jumped by $7.6 billion to $110 billion between November 16 and 17 to dethrone Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, from the third position.

Since then, Tesla stock has been on a bullish run and in the last 24 hours added $7.24 billion to Elon Musk’s total net worth, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index. Bringing the billionaire’s total net worth to $128 billion.

Elon Musk’s net worth rose from just $28 billion in January 2020 to $128 billion on November 24, 2020, representing an increase of $100 billion, the highest by any billionaire.

Musk has finally toppled Bill Gates as the second richest person and for the first time, Bill Gates is the third richest man in the world. This is the first time in almost 40 years that Gates will be in the third position.

Billionaires listed on Bloomberg Index have collectively gained $1.3 trillion this year.

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