FG to source $3-5bn to revive ASCO – Minister


Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu flanked on his left by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mary A Ogbe with the Director, Metallurgical Inspectorate and Raw Materials Development, Engr. Frederick Ewa and on his right by the Ag. Chairman, PEEF, Alh.Mashood Yusuf, Dr. Lola Mabogunje, Member and Dr. Musa Rabiu, Executive Secretary, PEEF, during the Foundation’s courtesy visit to the Ministry’s Headquarters on Thursday 7th December 2023.

The Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu has disclosed that to revitalize the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and get it to work optimally, in accordance with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Ministry would require between $3 – 5bn to revitalize the integrated steel complex.

A statement from the ministry, signed by Media Officer Tine -Iulun M.A, said Prince Audu made the disclosure when he received a delegation of the People Expertise and Excellence Foundation on Thursday 7th December 2023 in the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja.

Speaking during the visit, the Minister disclosed that ASCO has the potential to deliver high quality steel needed for the industrialization of the country, adding that the Ministry is working on a 3-year Road Map for the revitalization of Ajaokuta Steel Plant and a 5-year Road Map to revive the Steel Sector generally.

Discussing the Ministry’s plan to revive Ajaokuta in phases, he said the Ministry has sought financing to re-start the Light Steel Mill in ASCO for the production of iron rods, noting that the production of iron rods in Ajaokuta Light Steel Mill will stop the importation of iron rods and help shore up Foreign Exchange for the country.

He called on stakeholders to rise up to the challenge of making the Nigerian Steel Sector work, as it has capacity to industrialise the nation, grow the economy, reduce unemployment and grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Steel Development/Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Mary A Ogbe, thanked the Foundation for offering to give professional and genuine advice to the Ministry. She assured of the Ministry’s commitment to ensure it leaves a tangible mark in the Steel Sector.

Earlier, the Ag. Chairman BOT, of the People Expertise and Excellence Foundation, PEEF, Alh. Mashood Yusuf, who represented the Chairman, enumerated the functions of the Foundation to be: Collate and disseminate relevant up-to-date information on management trends and challenges with a view to facilitate critical discussions and proffer far reaching practical solutions; develop and design impact techniques for enhanced productive work in Nigeria towards improving the Gross Domestic Product as well as support skills development initiatives for the workforce in Nigeria and Africa, among others.

He stated that PEEF believed that steel production is the key to industrialization, adding that all the nation’s efforts at infrastructural development needs will demand huge quantities of steel, which can be met locally if the Steel Sector is developed, noting that Nigeria has the resources to develop production by restoring existing steel plants.

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