Nigerian president commissions new cold rolled steel plant

Nigerian president commissions new cold rolled steel plant
# 18 April 2013 20:19 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned a new multi-billion-dollar cold rolled steel plant, one of the best and largest of its kind in Africa, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The Nigerian leader commissioned the new plant, privately built by Hong Kong based Western Metal Products Company Limited (WEMPCO) Group, to be located in Magboro area of southwest, Ogun State, Nigeria, during a ceremony.

The event was attended by many high profile figures in Nigeria's business world and Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Deng Boqing. The project further highlighted the country's investment potential in the steel sector.

Delivering the keynote speech, President Jonathan emphasized the role the new plant will play in creating jobs for unemployed youths in the country, adding that the new plant will play a vital role in the country's industrialization.

The Nigerian leader told his audience that the new plant will provide jobs importunities for the country's citizens in form of direct work force, while also creating means of employment in areas like distribution of the finished products.

The new plant has an installed annual capacity of 700,000 tonnes with additional expanded capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year commencing production by last quarter of 2013.

The inauguration of the steel plant will fill in the vacuum that has riddled the Nigerian steel industry following the failure that has been recorded in the past at Ajaokuta, central north part of the country.

The government, he said, would introduce policies that would support and encourage investors in the development of the steel sector.

Lewis Tung, the group managing director of WEMPCO Group, said his company is ready to receive materials from the upstream industry. This is a way to encourage investors to go into the upstream and back stream, he added.

He told the gathering that the company with the help of other partners from China, U.S., Germany and Japan is ready to help Nigeria develop the lacking technology skills.

Tung said his organization will continue to invest and expand in the Nigerian economy, noting that this is a result of their strong belief and confidence in the country.

"Steel is the basic metal and backbone of all industries. It facilitates infrastructural development and promotes creation of employment opportunities. In any country, all aspects of industrialization require steel. Thus, steel is very crucial and fundamental to any industrial development and industries should be supported," he added.

WEMPCO Group has a total work force of over 18,000 Nigerians.