The federal government is currently engaging in talks with multiple partners, such as the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Stanbic IBTC Bank, and Voda Infrastructure Management Limited, in an effort to revitalize the Ajaokuta Steel Mill, which is located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State. Negotiations are underway as they approach the conclusion of a financial pact, spanning multiple banks, valued at around ₦35 billion. The nation’s dormant iron and steel sector is set to undergo a remarkable revival.
This revelation was underscored by the minister who highlighted the significance of the multilateral finance agreement. This strategic step is poised to breathe new life into the sector, laying the groundwork for future growth and development. During a meeting in Abuja, Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, the Minister of Steel Development, shared news of a joint endeavour between the federal government and the Ministry of Steel Development. This announcement took place while he was in conversation with Wole Adeniyi, the Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC Bank, in Abuja.
Significance of the multilateral financial agreement.
Recently, the federal government revealed its intention to revive the dormant steel company within a timeframe of three years. This recent advancement comes as a result of the rehabilitation announcement. The minister placed further emphasis on the significance of the multilateral financial agreement, highlighting its role as a crucial measure for revitalizing the nation’s stagnant iron and steel industry. This strategic step is ultimately intended to bolster the country’s industrialization efforts and foster its overall development.
He stressed the crucial need to obtain about ₦35 billion in financing to enable the resumption of operations in the light mill division at the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, with a particular emphasis on the manufacturing of iron rods. The minister emphasized the ministry’s achievement of securing partnerships with the Federal Ministry of Works, thereby designating them as the recipients of the iron rods that are produced. Furthermore, there is an ongoing cooperation with the Ministry of Defence.
Acquiring funds in order to promptly start the project.
Essentially, this cooperation aims to establish a Military Complex in Ajaokuta, ensuring utmost safety measures are in place. He exuded a positive outlook regarding the abundant prospects that lay within Ajaokuta, underscoring the remarkable potential for substantial accomplishments within the area. In September 2023, there was a moment when the Presidency proudly disclosed the country’s accomplishment in attracting a ground-breaking investment of $3 billion from Indian investors. This significant amount was pledged exclusively for the steel company.
Also, the bank Managing Director, Wole Adeniyi, acknowledged the ministry’s potential for collaboration and affirmed Stanbic IBTC Bank’s enthusiasm to join forces. He emphasized how crucial it is for the ministry to provide more information for careful evaluation in order to move the project forward. It was affirmed that the ministry’s stance remains unwavering and resolute. A press release highlighted that there would be no compromise on the matter at hand. The main goal is to quickly acquire funds in order to promptly start the project, with the ultimate objective of ensuring the long-term growth and progress of the steel industry.
Forging an alliance between the aviation industry and the Steel Company.
It was further stated that the senator representing Kogi Central, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, has a vision to revive the Ajaokuta Steel company in Kogi state and generate aircraft spare parts. The Senator strongly supports forging a well-planned alliance between the aviation industry and the Ajaokuta Steel Company, highlighting the immense possibilities that lie in industrial cooperation. The senator stressed the importance of Nigeria directing investments towards the expansion of its abilities in emerging realms such as aviation and aerospace sectors.