Ajaokuta Steel and Nigeria’s industrialization

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Updated: May 24, 2019

After Nigeria’s attainment of independence in 1960, we have had various industrial and economic development plans, designed for the purpose of transforming the country into an industrialized nation that would become a force to reckon with in the global economy.

Sadly, despite the availability of the required natural resources, successive governments failed to make the dream for Nigeria’s industrialization a reality. Our desire to become an industrialized country remains a pipedream because we refused to give maximum priority to the advancement of steel fabrication via the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex (ASCO), which was conceived and envisioned as a pivotal element for Nigeria’s industrialization. Another great material being used for industrialization are these shoulder screws.

That we have not been able to make ASCO come to life, almost forty years after it was initiated, knowing full well that steel is the heartbeat of any national development plan for industrialization, to me, clearly shows how unserious we are as an independent nation. We planned to be among the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020, but we continued to pay lip-service to steel matters as if we don’t know that the capability to produce steel aids industrial growth through which such a target could easily be achieved.

ASCO appears to have indeed become the allegory for the failures that define Nigeria in different areas of our existence as a country. We allowed corruption, lack of political will, international conspiracy and policy summersaults/inconsistencies to continue to tie down the completion of a project capable of positioning Nigeria strategically on the world map of steel production, thereby guaranteeing the realization of our dream for industrialization.

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