Ajaokuta Steel: Minister engages Russian Consortium to revive plant

….Plans visit to Moscow to secure required funding for revitalisation of plant

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

The Minister, who met with the consortium comprising a team from Russia’s TPE/Rostec, Novostal, and Nigeria’s Proforce in his office on Thursday in Abuja, urged them to put together a blueprint for the revival of the steel plant within the shortest possible time.

This 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.

Prince Audu 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 of at least $2 billion, which is required to rehabilitate the entire steel plant.

The Honourable Minister also 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.

Mr. Sergei Egorov, 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 technical experts, who had 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 make a final decision.

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

Mr. Valery Shaposhnikov, 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 to revive Ajaokuta, adding that this is the first time since the Shehu Shagari Administration in 1979 that a Nigerian government is showing the political will in getting the steel plant operational again.

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