Base Metal Iron, Steel, and Engineering Services Sector are discussed herein and we hope you find the article helpful and informative.
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This sector consists of steel plants, rolling mills, foundries, and various metalworking and manufacturing outfits.
The manufacture of metal products constitutes the largest business group in this sector. Products of the industry range from tin-plated wares, hand tools, metal fasteners to metal furniture, structural and sheet metal works.
Others include drums and other containers, different types of doors and windows, beds and chairs, hinges, pressed metals and wire products, water tanks, silos, pressure vessels, trailer bodies, and trunk bodies, screens, nails, nuts, and bolts; hospital equipment and cooking utensils.
Read Also: Electrical and Electronics Sectors
The major primary metallic raw materials in large-scale commercial quantities used by all industries in this sector are iron, steel, aluminum, zinc, lead, tin, and copper.
These raw materials have different grades and forms which include a flat bar, angles, flat sheets of steel, aluminum, and copper, stainless steel pipe and round bars, universal steel beams, and columns, rolled sheet channels, steel, and aluminum wire rods, hot rolled steel coils, tin-plated steel sheets, aluminum ingots and bronze castings, special alloy steel castings, welding electrodes and scrap metal of aluminum, copper, and steel.
Among the finished products that constitute input raw materials of significance especially in the machine-building and tool industries are electric motors, engine hinges, nails, staples, stitching wire, tool bits, compressors, nuts, bolts, and rivets.
The demand for steel is estimated at 3 million tonnes per annum with flat sheets accounting for 50 percent of the total demand.
The demand for aluminum is estimated to be 40,000 tones per annum while about 100,000 tones of iron castings like grey and malleable are also required.
Base Metal Iron, Steel, and Engineering Services Sector
In the base metal iron, steel, and engineering services sector, some of the government policies that affect the procurement of industrial raw materials in this sector include:
1. The unrestricted exportation of scrap metal which makes locally available scrap metal like steel, aluminum, and copper is very scarce and expensive.
2. High import tariff on imported raw materials. When the rate of tariff on the importation of basic raw materials is high, the effect of these high tariffs is lead on the price of goods. Economically, the burden of this high tariff flows on the customers.
3. Inadequate protection of local metalworking industries.
4. High transport costs arising from the high fuel prices.
5. Lengthy bureaucratic procedures in obtaining loans for working capital by the public sector companies.
6. The high devaluation of the naira results in the high cost of imported material.
Furthermore for this sector to be effective, producing locally available coal deposits into form coke or acceptable characteristics to substitute for imported metallurgical coke.
Development of the coke-less cupola technology to use locally available natural gas or oil and the cold briquetted iron from the foundry. Upgrading of the Itakpe Ore to meet the grade required by the existing integrated steel plants.
In conclusion, the above opined that the steel industry could be made to serve as the expected catalyst to provide the necessary industrial base required for technological development and the maintenance of a viable industrial economy.