Ajaokuta Steel Plant: Nigerian Government inaugurates project implementation team 

Rahila Lassa, Abuja

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The Nigerian government has inaugurated a project implementation team to revamp the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, inaugurated the team in Abuja, Nigeria.

He said revamping the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, presents a unique opportunity to make Nigeria West Africa’s largest fully integrated steel producer and accelerate the country’s industrialization especially in steel-related industries.

“As you are all aware, Mr President’s quest to create opportunities for the development of our national local capacity, especially in the area of industrialization within a diversified economy remains a major cardinal point in his administration,” he noted.

According to the SGF, “The Ajaokuta Steel plant has languished in economic unproductivity for about four decades and previous efforts at reviving it had proved abortive.”

“This has resulted in avoidable massive foreign exchange losses at intolerable opportunity cost to the country. The pressing need to redress these avoidable challenges has necessitated this Presidential intervention at this time. This is further underscored by difficulties being witnessed with present challenges in the global oil industry.”

“This government places a lot of value on the diversification of the economy, hence, Mr President’s participation at the Russia-Africa Summit last year in Sochi, to discuss the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.”

“Following the bilateral discussions in Sochi, Russia, the Ajaokuta Steel Project is to be resuscitated on the basis of a Government-to-Government agreement with funding from the Afreximbank and the Russian Export Centre. However, one of the key issues discussed by the parties was the Technical Audit, Upgrade, Completion and Operation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.”  He explained.

The SGF noted that the inauguration of the Ajaokuta Presidential Project and Implementation Team (APPIT) is meant to kick start the process of re-directing the activities of the Steel Plant with the aim of bringing the Steel Project back to life for the growth and economic development of the nation.

“Preliminary works have commenced to determine parameters for effective and coordinated take-off of rehabilitation works on the Steel plant. It is on this note that Mr President graciously approved the composition of this Implementation Team that is being inaugurated today,” he said.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

The team will work within the following terms of reference:

  1. Engage in all bilateral negotiations as shall be necessary on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria leading to the execution of the Government-to-Government Agreement with the Russian Federation and the Afreximbank.
  2. Provide all relevant technical and other inputs necessary to close the Government-to-Government negotiations.
  3. Ensure that the best extreme possible, all relevant raw materials are sourced locally, bearing in mind the local content provisions and the Presidential Executive Order 005.
  4. Scrutinize and assemble Nigerian Content Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC), Special Purpose Vehicle Contractors which will embody the Co-Concessionaire representing Nigeria’s interest in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Concession.
  5. Ensure the resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Plant (ASP) based on the original design.
  6. Ensure timely commissioning of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant (ASP) within a reasonable period to be agreed upon by the parties to the agreement and recommend primary tenure of a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Concession.

MEMBERSHIP

The membership of the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team (APPIT) include:

  1. Secretary to the Government of the Federation     –     Chairman
  2. Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development      –     Alt Chairman
  3. Permanent Secretary, Mines and Steel Development   – Member
  4. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance     –   Member
  5. Solicitor-General of the Federation/ Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice – Member
  6. Mr Gabriel Aduda    –  Member
  7. Sole Administrator, Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd   –   Member
  8. Sole Administrator, National Iron Ore Mining Co.   –   Member
  9. Engr. Vincent Dogo (Industry Expert)    –   Member
  10. Prof. Elegba S.B. (Industry Expert)   –   Member
  11. Dr Godwin Adeogba (Industry Expert)     –   Member
  12. Director-General, ICRC     –    Member
  13. Director, Steel; MMSD    –   Member

The Committee is expected to prepare and submit a periodic work plan along with quarterly progress reports on assignment activities, end-of-assignment report and develop concession contract terms.

 

Zainab Sa’id