Home News Audu says ministry sourcing for over $2bn in private funding to revive Ajaokuta Steel Plant

Audu says ministry sourcing for over $2bn in private funding to revive Ajaokuta Steel Plant

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….Says National Steel Council Board dissolved

The Honourable Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, has said that the Ministry is exploring various options for sourcing over two billion dollars in private funding for the revival of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, with thirty-five billion naira (about $35 million) required to restart the light steel mill of the plant.

Prince Audu made this known when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development on Thursday in Abuja, reiterating the dissolution of the Board of the National Steel Council following the directives of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.

According to Audu, the Ministry is keen on achieving the mandate it was specifically created for, which is the revival of the Steel Industry which requires significant funding.

The Minister told the House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development that he is in talks with prospective partners and technical experts for funding and revival of the Complex.

Audu said, “One thing is very clear to me, we do not have the funding as a Federal Government to be able to revive Ajaokuta. So what we need to do is think outside the box and try to use what we have to get what we want.

“Based on all my discussions with all the experts, the minimum required for the revitalization of Ajaokuta is about 2 billion dollars, but that could rise to well over 5 billion dollars. And the revitalization will cover not just the plant and equipment but things that have to do with the infrastructure, whether it is the rail line, the dredging of the River Niger, or a deep sea port to be able to bring in some of the heavy equipments.

“I have said this several times. If we get it right, potentially, it could create in excess of 500,000 jobs for Nigerians.

“And Mr. President has said that we should not necessarily wait for a “Big Bang” approach by trying to solve all the problems at once, but perhaps we can start with the low hanging fruits. Hence, conversations are ongoing to raise private money to revive the light steel mill in the interim. It is important to note the strategy we have deployed is to raise private money.

“We are also in conversation with the Ministry of Defence to get the engineering workshop working so that we can produce military hardwares”.

For this to happen, we need funding. So, all the help that we can get from the National Assembly to make this national asset a success is what we require. So, I need all your support to make this a reality,” Prince Audu said.

On the dissolution of the National Steel Council (NSC), the Minister noted that, upon assumption of duty, he interfaced with the Council through the Exceutive Secretary and only set up a committee based on the principle of fair hearing to look into the allegations and complaints from both the Executive Secretary and the former board of the council.

Prince Audu said that he issued a letter reiterating the dissolution of the NSC Board in line with Mr. President’s directives, stopping them from carrying out any functions in the name of the council.

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