• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Ajaokuta Steel: Minister engages original developers, TPE to secure funding for revival

Ajaokuta-Steel

Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, the minister of Steel Development has engaged a consortium led by the original developers of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL), Tyamzhpromexport (TPE), to revive the steel plant.

The minister met with the consortium comprising a team from Russia’s TPE/Rostec, Novostal, and Nigeria’s Proforce in his office on Thursday, in Abuja, urging them to put together a blueprint for the revival of the Steel Plant within the shortest possible time, Salamotu Jibaniya, head of press & public relations department for the ministry said in a statement.

Audu said the move is in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope Agenda”, which is keen on ensuring the production of steel in the country and industrialising Nigeria through the Steel Sector before the end of his first term in office.

The minister said following the meeting, he intends to visit Moscow on a formal invitation from TPE and other consortium partners to engage in further discussions to secure funding to the tune of about $2 billion, which is required for the revival of the entire steel plant.

He thanked the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria for facilitating the meeting with the TPE Consortium, which, if gotten right, will be a monumental success in driving Nigeria’s economy through industrialisation.

Sergei Egorov, the general director of TPE and leader of the Consortium commended the Honourable Minister for the steps he has taken so far in putting together the Consortium for the resuscitation of the steel plant, which has been moribund for years.

Egorov and his team of technical experts, who had earlier gone on a tour of the Steel Complex a few days earlier, noted that the plant was still in a state of possible resuscitation, indicating their interest in putting together a business case for the government.

“We came with our technical experts and are quite impressed at the current state of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant. We would do a full technical audit of the plant and then take a final decision”.

“We are happy to come on board the resuscitation of the steel plant for the benefit of Nigerians,” Egorov said.

Valery Shaposhnikov, the deputy head of the Russian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, also commended the potential partnership, which he says would be carefully reviewed for the mutual benefit of both countries.

He expressed optimism in the vision of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR to revive Ajaokuta, adding that this is the first time since the Shehu Shagari Administration in 1979 that a Nigerian government is showing great political will in getting the Steel Plant operational again.