Prince Shuaib Audu, the Minister of Steel Development, has unveiled a comprehensive three-year roadmap aimed at revitalizing the dormant Ajaokuta Steel Mill in Kogi State. Speaking at a media parley in Abuja, Audu outlined the ambitious plan as part of President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s efforts to bolster the steel industry and catalyze industrialization across Nigeria.
Financial Requirements and Strategy
According to Audu, the government requires an estimated $2 billion to $5 billion USD to breathe new life into the Ajaokuta steel company. The ministry has devised an internal roadmap, which will soon be augmented by the expertise of global consultants. The plan includes the concession of the company to competent entities capable of executing the revitalization process effectively.
Strategic Concessions and Sector Revival
Critical stakeholders will be engaged to ensure that concessionaires possess the necessary expertise for the task at hand. Audu revealed plans to revive the various production units of the steel company incrementally through concessions to investors. The focus will initially be on reviving the Light Steel Mill (LSM) section to produce iron rods, with an estimated cost of N35 billion.
Collaborative efforts with the Defence and Interior ministries, along with Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), are underway to revive the engineering workshop for military hardware production. Negotiations with foreign investors, including Indian company Jindal Steel and Chinese firm Luan Steel Holding, are progressing positively. These investments are expected to inject over $10 billion USD into Nigeria’s economy and generate 500,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Commitment to Local Industry Growth
Audu reiterated the administration’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for the growth of local steel industries. President Tinubu’s unwavering support underscores the importance of the steel sector as a cornerstone for Nigeria’s industrialization drive.
Legislative Support for Industry Advancement
To further support the growth of the steel sector, Audu highlighted the importance of passing key legislative acts, including the Nigerian Metallurgical Industrial Bill and the National Steel Council Act.
With a robust roadmap in place and collaborative efforts underway, the government aims to transform Ajaokuta Steel Company into a thriving hub of industrial activity, heralding a new era of economic prosperity and job creation for Nigerians.