Nigeria’s Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, says 652 million dollars is estimated to reactivate equipment and machines at the Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd.
The Minister of State, Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, said this shortly after he received the Report of a Technical Audit from the Sole Administration of the company, Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, on Thursday in Abuja.
The Federal Government had set up the Technical Audit to find out how much was required to complete the Steel Plant.
According to the Minister of State, the estimated amount is part of recommendations contained in the Technical Audit Report presented to him.
Bwari said following completion of work by the Technical Audit, the next line of action was for the ministry to appoint transaction advisers to counsel the Federal Government on the best strategy to adopt to operate the Steel Plant.
He commended the Nigerian Society of Engineers for recommending capable engineers that conducted the Technical Audit:
“I am pleased to see that our local engineers conducted the technical audit successfully; some have suggested that foreigners should conduct the process but we can see the good job our own engineers have done.
“Today, we know what is remaining to be completed in the plant and what to do within a stipulated time; we need to start work on areas that are remaining.
“I want to appreciate those that preserved the steel plant thus far that made it not to become moribund.’’
Earlier, Abdul-Akaba said that the engineers were able to discover that the Plant had attained 95.7 percent completion, and not 98 percent that had been reported.
According to him, the engineers have also come up with lots of recommendations that will revive the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
Ajaokuta Steel Plant is sited on 24,000 hectares of land in Ajaokuta, Kogi state, about 38 kilometres from Lokoja, the state capital in North-Central Nigeria.
The Plant was conceived and steadily developed with the vision of erecting a Metallurgical Process Plant/Engineering Complex with other auxiliaries and facilities.
The company is meant to generate important upstream and downstream industrial and economic activities that are critical to the diversification of Nigeria’s economy to an industrial one.
The Plant dubbed “Bedrock of Nigeria’s Industrialization’’ is also designed to produce iron and liquid steel from Iron Ore Mines at Itakpe, also in Kogi state, about 52 kilometres from Ajaokuta.
Amaka E. Nliam