A Chinese firm, Inner Galaxy Steel Company, a subsidiary of Inner Galaxy Group, has said with the significant progress it has made over the years, and establishment of factories all over Nigeria, it plans to be the largest steel company in West Africa.
It expressed more optimism, following its combined production capacity that has also increased to about 50,000 metric tonnes.
Group Managing Director, Inner Galaxy Group, Andy Lu, disclosed this at the annual staff Christmas party and long service awards of Hongxing Steel Company Limited, a member of Inner Galaxy Group in Lagos.
He said the firm has also provided employment opportunities through direct and indirect jobs, as it has over 3,000 workers on its payroll.
Describing their business as waste to wealth operations, he said the steel products are among the few manufactured or imported products that are cheaper now than they were a few years ago.
“Perhaps, more important is the fact that we are a “Waste to Wealth” company. Through our operations, we provide employment opportunities to those who ordinarily would have been considered “mere scavengers”.
Picking dirt has become a decent business. And by this we provide another important benefit to society – helping to clean up the environment.
“Our direct impact on the economy is also very remarkable. It is worthy of note that since the inception of Hongxing Steel Company, and our other associated steel companies, the cost of steel in Nigeria has been trending downwards.”
Lu, who noted that through their work, quantity of steel imported into the country has also reduced drastically, stressed that it was a significant amount of foreign exchange conserved for Nigeria.
“I am glad for the fact that we are helping to drive the cost of steel products. In the past, importers of steel products could just flood the market with imported steel products. Today, we have made it more expensive for anybody to import and sell foreign steel products in Nigeria, but more importantly, our locally produced steel products are comparable to the best in the world.”
While commending the Federal Government of Nigeria for its support to genuine manufacturers, Lu, however, said there should be continuous dialogue between the Federal Government and the manufacturing sector, especially the steel manufacturing industry.
According to him, “If this happens effectively, not only that this sector will be a foreign exchange conserver, it will also be indeed a foreign exchange earner for the country. At the moment, we are already exporting our steel products to other West African countries, to the benefit of Nigerian economy.
“On their part, government and its officials must keep the doors open and listen to genuine investors and manufacturers, to know their needs and know how best to support them to support the economy.”