Nigeria sets up a presidential project implementation team for Ajaokuta Steel Mill

nigeria steel mill 3 JuneWith the setting up of the presidential project implementation team for the Ajaokuta Steel Mill, the Nigerian government is trying to revive Nigeria’s largest steel mill

Located in Ajaokuta in North Central Nigeria, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) is built on 24,000 ha of land. The Nigerian government had always maintained that the mill was 95 per cent completed, but the sprawling complex lay abandoned and only the light mills have been put into operation for small-scale fabrication and the production of iron rods

The new team is chaired by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Nigerian government with Ucheckukwu Ogah, junior minister for mines and steel as the alternate chairman of the team.

Mustapha said, “The Ajaokuta Steel plant has languished in economic unproductivity for about four decades and previous efforts at reviving it had proved abortive. The non-completion had resulted in avoidable massive foreign exchange losses and intolerable opportunity cost to the count.”

Mustapha further added that the inauguration of the Ajaokuta presidential project and implementation team is meant to kick start the process of redirecting the activities of the steel plant with the aim of bringing the steel project back to life for the growth and economic development of our dear nation.

The Ajaokuta Project was undertaken by the Soviet Union under a cooperation agreement with Nigeria in 1967 and after several other unsuccessful options to complete the mill, the Nigerian government had turned again to the Soviet Union as a component of the terms of reference of the committee include engaging in all bilateral negotiations as shall be necessary on behalf of the Federal Government.

Mustapha pointed out that the Ajaokuta steel project would be resuscitated on the basis of a government-to-government agreement with funding from the Afrexim bank and the Russian Export Centre. The Russian government and Afreximbank would provide up to US$1.46bn to fund the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, with US$1bn coming from African Export–Import Bank and US$460mn from Russian Export Centre.

The committee is expected to prepare and submit a periodic work plan along with quarterly progress reports on assignment activities, end-of-assignment report and develop concession contract terms.

 

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