(Last Updated On: February 16, 2017)

By: Tinuade Salami & Michael James Igiri


To eradicate poverty, and create sustainable wealth through proper management and recycling of

products in the extractive industry, the Federal Government has been advised to create wealth by

optimising the full life-circle of Steel and Metal products in Nigeria.

A Professor of Extractive Metallurgy and Materials Processing, David Ehigie Esezobor, gave the

advice during an inaugural lecture on “WASTE TO WEALTH: THE RE-ENGINEERING OF EXTRACTIVE

METALLURGY”, which was held on Wednesday at the Ade Ajayi Main Auditorium, University of


Focusing on three vital aspects of the lecture, that is; Extractive Metallurgy, Mineral Processing, and

Development of Materials and Waste-Free technology, Prof. Esezobor raised issues dominating

discussions among scholars, government and the public on metal extraction and its development in


Sighting specific examples from the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, (ASP) and the Delta Steel Company (DSC) –

which were each concessioned (or sold three different times), the lecturer concluded that their

collapse was a consequence of unresolved confusions among the professionals, non-professionals

and relevant government personnel, as well as the “Planned Controversies”, and the “Deadly

Conspiracies” from within and outside the country.

“All these remind us of the fact that if we refuse to develop our own Iron Ore and Steel Industry, we

will only export our Iron and Steel raw materials at very cheap rates, and import the finished

products at exorbitant prices as it is with Nigerian oil today.

“The implication of this is that manufactured goods and services from Nigeria requiring these

products as imputes will not be economically competitive. By a stretched imagination, this is

probably the main mitigating factor in the infrastructural challenge in the country.”

Relying on United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) survey of the steel industry

worldwide, which shows that for every US$1 investment in the steel industry, there is a multiplier

effect of US$8 in the host nation, he emphasised the need to be continually creative in the

management of waste.

Prof. Esezobor, who was elevated to the status of Professor of Extractive Metallurgy and Materials

Processing in 2007, reeled out some of his major research areas and contributions to knowledge

including; the development of Coke-Consumption humidification technology, development of high

quality Refractory Bricks manufacturing technology that can withstand a temperature of up to 1600

degree Celsius, Waste-Free technology as well as Sludge Dewatering Technology, and Novel Thermal

Drying Technology, amongst others.

He concluded by recommending the establishment of, “Waste-free or Zero-waste technology

research centres or laboratories” in the University of Lagos; Lagos state; as well as in other states of

the federation, to investigate every discarded material for possible conversion to wealth.

“The research centre is a vital piece for a comprehensible waste management. The traditional

systems of waste management are designed to hide the value of waste. The claim that landfills and

incinerators make waste disappear is nothing but a myth.

“Any failure to create wealth from waste stops the creative engine and breaks the creative cycle.

This leads to poverty and lack of sustainability which Nigeria in particular, and Africa in general are

currently experiencing.”

He thanked the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos Prof. Rahamon Bello for giving him an

opportunity to present his inaugural lecture; as well as Professors Toyin Ogundipe, and Ralph

Akinfeleye for their efforts towards the actualisation of the lecture.