By Joan Nwagwu
Iron rod and Steel Dealers Employers Union of Nigeria has urged the Federal government to resuscitate all the moribund rolling mills in the country.
The Union said this would put an end to the lamentation associated with the supply of the substandard material.
National President of the Union, Mr Gbenga Awoyale made the plea while receiving the union’s certificate of registration from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in Abuja on Friday.
Awoyale said apart from tackling the issue of substandard iron rods, the resuscitation of the moribund steel and rolling mills would create employment and boost the country’s economy.
“Federal government should look for way to resuscitate these rolling mills. Jos steel rolling mill, Oshogbo steel rolling mill, Delta and Katsina steel rolling mill should be resuscitated.
“We have mills that have not produced for more than 20 years and some of them were given to people to manage; government should compel the managers to start work at the steel mill or re-award it to other people.
“These mills will boost our economy and create employment. We have substandard iron rods everywhere now because our local mills are not working.
“Before the arrival of the foreign steel companies in Nigeria, our iron rods were accepted in other countries, but now, they are no longer accepted,” Awoyale said.
According to him, every iron rod produced is supposed to come with certificate, name of manufacturer and date of products manufacture to help eliminate substandard products in the market.
Awoyale also said that all iron rods must be produced according to the specification of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
Earlier, Mr Falonipe Amos, Registrar of Trade Unions, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, urged the union to operate within their area of jurisdiction to avoid clash with other unions.
Amos who reeled out the dos and don’ts guiding unions, told the iron rod union leaders to avoid fight over membership and focus their attention on the activities of the dealers, distributors and agents.
“There must be election after four years of the present officers and resolve any issue that arises within the union.
“Your account must be audited every year by an auditor approved by the labour ministry and the name of the union cannot be changed without informing us,” Amos added.
Mr Daniel Eneje, iron rod dealer at Dei-Dei Building Materials Market, Abuja, who accompanied the union leaders to the ministry, regretted the level of substandard products in the market, noting that dealers bear the brunt of fake products.
“Dealers suffer the errors of the manufacturers.
“For example, when dealers forward their request for the production of 16mm, let the manufactures give us what we ordered for and not 14 or 15mm.
“They should always supply us what we paid for. We urge SON to come to our aid and monitor what the manufactures are producing for us,” he said.
Iron Rod and Steel Dealers Employers Union of Nigeria was formed as a pressure group in 2018 but has now become a trade union having met all the requirement needed to be one. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)