A Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Professor Abdul Ganiyu Funsho Alabi, has advocated the need for the Federal Government to resuscitate the primary iron making facilities at Ajaokuta and Warri Steel companies to provide quality iron products in the Nigerian market.
Alabi maintained that if the Ajaokuta project can be completed, “the economic value chain that can develop from such a complex can be colossal and could move Nigeria into the much needed industrialisation era.”
He made the call while delivering the fifth Inaugural Lecture of the University on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at the KWASU Mini Convocation Arena.
The lecture, entitled “Striving for Global Relevance on the Platform of Minerals, Metals and Materials,” was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AbdulRasheed Na’Allah.
The event was historic as the Inaugural Lecturer clocked 70 years of retirement age on Thursday, March 28, 2019.
“It’s a generic quote that a nation that fails to develop its iron and steel resources (If it is as lucky as Nigeria), would be far from industrialisation. Our steel industries (Ajaokuta and Delta Steel companies) must be revitalised in order for Nigeria to achieve its potentials industrially so that we can be reckoned with in the comity of nations,” he stated.
Professor Alabi, who is the Provost, College of Engineering and Technology, reiterated the need for Nigerian governments and Nigerians to invest heavily in solid minerals to key into the nation’s next major economic resource after oil.
He also advocated the enactment of laws that would force industries to patronise Nigerian universities and research centres by providing funds for research.
The Inaugural Lecturer equally charged government to enact laws to force mineral prospecting agents in the country to add value to the mineral ores before export.
“More recently, Alabi and Kayode (2019) assessed the quality of rods (Imports) used for construction in a cement manufacturing site and concluded they complied with standards. The overall importance of the work is to ensure safety of operations in construction and manufacturing and to avoid failure of structures that are rampant in Nigeria,” he added.
“The department of MSE must be interdisciplinary to accommodate physicist, chemist, and biologists with strong mathematical background. The specialists must work together with materials/ metallurgical engineers to grow new materials for the advancement of technology.
“All members of staff of the department must register either with COREN if he/she has engineering background or with COMEG- Council of Mining Engineers and Geo-Scientists if he is a scientist to develop career-wise,” Professor Alabi recommended.