The Ministry of Works, and that of Steel Development have resolved to synergize and strategize in tapping into the opportunities in Ajaokuta Steel Plant for the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria.
The ministries made the agreement following the outcome of their inter-ministerial meeting held on Tuesday at the Ministry of Works, Headquarters in Abuja.
According to a statement issued by Orji Uchenna, the spokesperson to the minister of Works the partnership is part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Tinubu.
Speaking on the outcome of their meeting, the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi said that the Ministry of Steel Development would play a major role in the road infrastructure revolution plan envisioned by the president by providing more than 16 per cent of the materials needed for the construction of Nigeria’s roads in concrete pavement.
He said that tapping into the opportunities in steel industry would not only create jobs and wealth for Nigeria’s population, it would also create a global market and encourage industrialisation.
“How do we reactivate Ajaokuta Steel? We are going into a concrete road. In this concrete road, about 16 percent of it is from Steel while 30 percent is cement.
“We need a lot of money to start but we decided to face it and God has given us an idea, we need about 35 billion dollars to start. If we start waiting for FG it might become difficult.
“We did Return On Investment (ROI), the profit we could have made, part of it will go to bank interest ,we are looking at commercial banks but the Federal Executive Council has to endorse it.
“If this could be done it means Mr President is actually living to his words and this is going to be possible”
The minister of works also commended the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaib Audu, for his efforts in developing the steel sector, noting that steel industry is the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization and the backbone that stimulates national development and economic boost for the industrial growth of any nation.
He assured Audu that his ministry would work collaboratively in his efforts of enhancing the potentialities of Ajaokuta Steel Plant- the largest Steel Mill in Nigeria.
“Mr President never made a mistake in his appointment , I call him a Divine President, and the most important thing is that our eyes are on the job”
The Minister continued, “One of the renewed hope agenda of Mr President is to think outside the box , Mr President inherited a large shunk of debt from the past administration. The beauty about it is that he is not complaining , he knew how the country was before he took the job and how it is. The good thing is that if you have passion for something God will give you an idea ,”
Earlier, the Minister of Steel Development said the meeting was robust and incisive “My mission is a wonderful one, I had a fantastic meeting initiated by the Hon. Minister of Works.
“We are seriously thinking outside the box to see how we can implement the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President. What we came to discuss here is how to restart Steel production at Ajaokuta Steel Plant .
“The Hon Minister of Works has made it very clear that the Federal Government is looking to develop over 30,000 kilometers of road and a large component of that will be from Steel wrought, and a percentage of that Steel wrought will be produced in Ajaokuta. We came to have a discussion on how to implement the process for producing it in Ajaokuta within the shortest possible time”
The Minister of Steel Development emphasized the importance of the initiative by both Ministers and expressed hope that it would provide the needed economic boost for the nation, generate revenue and provide thousands of direct jobs for skilled and non- skilled technicians and hundreds of thousands of unskilled jobs in Nigeria.
“And we are to achieve 2 or 3 three things , one to create job opportunity for Nigerians as a whole, two, to ensure that the corridor around the North Central Zone and around the Ajaokuta Warri axis is busy with activities and thirdly, the plant has been inactive for close to four decades and we are here to restart the plant within the shortest possible time”