Greener Journal of Business and Management Studies Vol. 3 (5), pp. 231-240, July 2013
ISSN: 2276-7827 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 070113696
The Challenge of Domestic Iron and Steel Production in Nigeria
Elijah I. Ohimain
Biomining and Geomicrobiology Research Unit, Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
Email: eohimain @ yahoo. com; Phone/fax: 234-803-7306520
A vibrant iron and steel sector is necessary for the infrastructural and technological development of any nation. Nigeria is blessed with all the raw materials required for steel development including iron ore, coal, natural gas and limestone. At the third national development plan (1975 – 1980) specifically between 1976 and 1978, Nigeria commenced the construction of two integrated iron and steel plants located at Ajaokuta (ASC) and Aladja (DSC) and three rolling mills at Oshogbo, Jos and Kastina. The 1.3 mtpa ASC is based on blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace (BF/BOF) technology with rolling product capacity of 5.2 mtpa. DSC has a 1.0 mtpa steel melting plant for the production of 0.96 mtpa of billets and 0.32 mtpa of rolled products, while supplying 210,000 tonnes of billets each to Oshogbo, Jos and Kastina rolling mills. These projects were expected to kick start a vibrant iron and steel sector in Nigeria. However, due to several factors including political, technical, logistical and managerial challenges, all these publicly-owned iron and steel companies folded up in Nigeria. The privately-owned iron and steel companies, which are mostly rolling mills that dependent on the integrated mills for billets are now threatened due to lack of raw materials. The publicly-owned iron and steel companies (ASC, DSC and the three inland rolling mills) were privatized in 2000- 2005, but most of them are still moribund, except DSC that functions below her capacity. Except all these challenges are tackled, iron and steel development in Nigeria will be a mirage.
Keywords: Backward integration policy; employment effects, furnace, iron and steel policy; iron ore; policy instability.