Reminiscent of the industrial phase of the 1980s in Nigeria, Dangote Integrated Steel Rolling Company, Oshogbo in Osun State (formerly Oshogbo Steel Rolling Mill) will soon roar in productive noise again, courtesy of the recent injection of a N7.5bn facility by Dangote Industries Limited.
The fund injection, according to a statement from the Head of Administration and Human Resources, Dangote Integrated Steel Rolling, Alhaji Bishira Abatcha, covers the renovation and reactivation of facilities in the once decrepit steel.
Oshogbo Steel Rolling Mill, as it was known, was one of the steel rolling mills established by the Alhaji Shehu Shagari-led administration in the country, with the focus of steering Nigeria‘s industrial development, especially in the steel sector in such a way that the country would be able to put up a competitive stance against the invading onslaughts from European countries in the area of steel importation into African countries.
Specifically, Oshogbo Steel Rolling Mill was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in the early 1980s as one of the three inland rolling mills in the then integrated steel development scheme of the government. It had an installed capacity of 210, 000 metric tonnes of steel per annum and was privatised on August 27, 2002, and bought into by Dangote Industries Limited to become Dangote Integrated Steel, a division of the Dangote Group. The Share Purchase Agreement was signed in December, 2005.
Apart from aiding faster industrial development, the steel companies, including Jos Steel Rolling Mill, Katsina Steel Rollling Mill and Oshogbo Steel Rolling Mill, were established with the vision that by the year 2000, they would have become the much needed base for economic and industrial revolution in Nigeria.
However, by 1990, the steel rolling mills, were already dehydrated operationally, due to paucity of fund and poor management. The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, therefore, saw no point in investing more fund into the operation of the mills, thereby paving the way for an outright privatisation of the mills, including the Oshogbo Steel Rolling Mill.