FG committed to reviving Ajaokuta steel mill – Minister

Minister of Steel Development, Mr Shuaibu Audu

The Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu has reiterated the commitment of President Bola Tinubu toward reviving the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Mill.

Audu said this when he visited Gov. Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau on Wednesday in Jos.

The minister pointed out that the Ajaokuta steel mill, located in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi, was a gigantic project initiated in the last 45 years to drive development in Nigeria.

He, however, regretted that the project had been neglected by successive administrations.

”The Ajaokuta steel mill has existed for over four and half decades without receiving the desired attention by successive administrations.

”But this administration, under the Renewed Hope mantra of President Tinubu, has demonstrated the political will to revive the steel plant to promote development in the nation.

”He has asked us to do all that is necessary to ensure the steel mill is back to life and part of what we are doing is to use a collegiate approach.

”He has asked us to look for a concession partner that can take over the technical management of the mill.

“We are looking for one that has the expertise in terms of steel production, so that the facility can start to produce once again,” he said.

Audu, however, said that due to the humongous amount needed to revive the entire plant, government had concluded arrangements to revive it in piecemeal.

”Based on technical analysis, it will cost us between two to five billion dollars to revive the Ajaokuta steel mill, hence we are using a piecemeal approach.

”So, we are going to, first, revive the light steel unit that can produce iron rods; we are at the final stage of signing a N35 billion funding from a local financial institution to commence work,” he said.

The minister said he was also in Jos to access facilities at the National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC), being a key partner that would drive the process for steel production in the country.

Responding, Mutfwang, who thanked the minister for the visit and described it as ‘timely, commended President Tinubu for his commitment toward reviving ailing sectors.

Stressing the importance of steel to the development of the nation, he said that the country would benefit immensely if the Ajaokuta steel mill is revived.

Mutfwang said that the commitment of the President to complete abandoned projects was in line with the vision of his administration toward ensuring that abandoned critical projects in Plateau were completed.