Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development says inreversible efforts that will bring Ajaokuta Steel Company to fruition will be achieved before President, Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure expires.
Adegbite disclosed this on Tuesday when he featured as a special guest on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) interview programme, Forum, in Abuja.
He said that the Federal Government had made efforts to ensure that the Russian company that built the steel industry returned to Nigeria to conduct a Technical Audit of the company.
He said that the Russian team would have been in Nigeria since last year for the technical audit but COVID-19 pandemic impeded the plan.
NAN recalls that the minister had earlier said that a 60-man team from Russia would arrive in Nigeria to start Technical Audit of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The Accord to revive the steel company was reached during a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Vladimir Putin in Russia in 2019.
The Russian Government had nominated TYAZHPROMEXPORT (TPE) the original builder of Ajaokuta steel to conduct technical audit of the steel company to ascertain the level of work remaining to be completed.
The minister said that the main purpose of Ajaokuta Steel Company, when it was conceived and built, was to produce liquid steel.
He added that the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) was set up in Itakpe, Kogi State to feed Ajaokuta steel with iron ore.
According to him, the liquid steel can be used for building aeroplanes and car parts, among others.
“Ajaokuta Steel Company has not been able to produce liquid steel since it was built, which is the little hurdle we need to address.
“The steel company has worked in the past whereby billets were imported to produce reinforcement but that was not what Ajaokuta steel was built for.”
He said that the ministry recently trained some youths in the metal sub-sector of national development to ensure human capital development with special emphasis on vibrant metals operators.
He said that the workshop was an appropriate strategy to launch and mainstream youths into the sector.
Adegbite said that the three-week intensive workshop was to work towards development of the sector.