The Minister of Steel Development, Shauibu Audu, has announced the approval of an inter-ministerial committee to oversee three steel development projects, including the revival of the Ajaokuta Steel Mill. The committee, comprising key ministers such as Finance, Industry, Defense, and Solid Minerals Development, aims to secure funding for Ajaokuta’s revitalization, set up a steel company in collaboration with Lu’an Steel Holding Group, and establish a steel plant for Jindal Steel.
Audu revealed that discussions with Lu’an Steel resulted in a commitment to set up a new steel plant in Nigeria, creating thousands of jobs. The company plans to send an advanced team after the Chinese New Year in February 2024. Additionally, President Tinubu’s administration aims to generate over 500,000 jobs if the committee successfully completes all projects.
The Minister emphasized plans to restart the Ajaokuta Steel Plant’s light steel mill, costing between $2 to $5 million for the entire plant and N35 billion for the living steel section. This initiative aligns with the Renewed Hope Agenda, supporting the Ministry of Works in constructing 30,000 kilometers of roads with locally produced iron rods.
Audu also shared updates on Jindal Steel’s $5 billion investment commitment, stating efforts to find an ideal location, potentially the Furthermore, the committee is working on establishing military hardware capabilities at Ajaokuta steel plant with assistance from a Chinese team.
In response to Ajaokuta Steel Company’s disconnection from the national grid due to a N33 billion electricity debt, the Minister expressed plans to investigate the accumulated debt and ensure it does not impede the revival efforts. He highlighted the need for collaboration and support from various stakeholders to successfully revive Ajaokuta after 45 years of non-operation.
Source: Thenation Newspaper