Nigeria is a country blessed with myriads of resources still untapped. Some of these resources are the solid minerals scattered all over the country that are industrial raw materials for iron and steel industries, aluminium industries and the petroleum and petrochemical industries in the Niger Delta region of the country. However, some of these comatose industries, each capable of employing thousands of youths both directly and indirectly are yearning for attention as a result of long years of neglect. We shall try to discuss 8 of these important industrial complexes(now regarded as comatose industries) that are comatose and whose urgent revival would provide the much needed jobs and opportunities for Nigerians.
The Ajaokuta Steel Company(ASCO): The most painful of all neglected industrial complexes in Nigeria is arguably the Ajaokuta steel company. This company which can be abbreviated as ASCO is situated in Kogi state and the steel territory covers several square kilometers. ASCO has over 7 rolling mills(billet mill, light section mill, medium section mill, wire rod mill, forge and fabrication mill, TPP-TBS and central maintenance). The company has 9 residential estates each having over 1000 housing units and is home to numerous construction companies such as Pacs Mecon, TPE, Fougerolle, Dumez, Julius Berger, Roger Reynolds, SAE and JDP The Ajaokuta steel company has the capacity to employ over 150,000 Nigerians both directly and indirectly when completed. The completion of this steel company would bring the much needed jobs and opportunities to engineering professionals and job seeking youths in Nigeria.
The Kaduna Textile Mills: Kaduna textiles located in Kaduna is reputed to be one of the leading industrial production plants in Nigeria. It has the capacity of generating over 50,000 jobs if fully functional. The implication of reviving this textile company is that agricultural raw materials from the northern part of Nigeria such as cotton would feed the company and create a seamless value chain that would provide jobs and enhance sustainability of the industry.
Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Company: The iron ore mining company at Itakpe in Kogi state was established to feed the Ajaokuta steel company with iron ore mined by the company in Itakpe and transported to the steel company via the Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line. The revival of this mining company would diversify the economy of Nigeria towards the solid minerals sub-sector and provide at least 5,000 direct jobs to Nigerians. The privatization of the company or complete government control with efficiency may well do the magic for this company.
The Aladja Steel Rolling Mill: Aladja is located in Delta state and is home to one of Nigeria’s steel companies. Just like the Ajaokuta steel company, Aladja has been left to wallow in decay without any production activity. Resuscitating this company is the prerogative of the federal government of Nigeria. The employment generation capacity of Aladja steel company is put at over 10000 direct jobs if fully operational.
The Jos Steel Rolling Mills: In a bid to create more employment opportunities for Nigerians, Jos steel rolling mill was established. This company is located in Jos, the plateau state capital. It was privatized during the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo but has remained largely in a comatose state with no activity. The company was set up to produced steel products for building and construction. Jos steel rolling mill can provide up to 3,000 direct and indirect jobs if fully operational.
Aluminium Smelter Company, Ikot-Abasi: Ikot-Abasi located in Akwa-Ibom state is home to Nigeria’s first aluminium smelter company that was established to produce aluminium products for the nation. However, the company has been in a deplorable state even after it was privatized. This company can be sustained from the rich bauxite deposits in the country which would serve as the raw material for aluminum production. Reviving this aluminum company would help reduce unemployment by as much as 7,000.
Katsina Steel Rolling Mill: The katsina steel rolling mill is located in katsina state, North West Nigeria. It was at one time taken over by the Katsina state government but has since remained redundant with more than 99% of the staff sacked. The north western part of Nigeria can benefit greatly from this company because it would feed the region with iron and steel products for building and construction. Just like the Jos rolling Mill, over 2000 direct jobs would be created if this company begins full operation.
Oshogbo Iron and Steel Factory: The Oshogbo steel factory was also established to give the south west a piece of the ‘national steel cake’. Located in present day Osun state, it has been in a comatose state for several decades, overtaken by weeds and severely dilapidated. One major problem facing these steel companies is the lack of adequate power supply. Another issue is the availability of raw material to feed these industries except in situations where billets would be imported and further processes into steel and iron products. Oshogbo steel company can give over 5,000 jobs to Nigerians if completed and fully operational.
It is hoped that the revival of these comatose industries would help re-shape the Nigerian economy and provide the much needed jobs for the Nigeria youth