Shuaib Abubarkar-Audu, the Minister for Steel Development, stated that the Ajaokuta town and its environment will be declared as a Free Trade Zone very soon. According to the Minister, President Bola Tinubu had received a proposal to ensure approval and consideration within the limited time-frame. He said that the proposal is one of the efforts made as a medium of incentives to persuade foreign investors who have declared their interest to partner with them in the steel industry in Nigeria.
Abubakar-Audu announced this plan during his visitation at the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited with some foreign investors from China, Russia, Germany and America, where he had a thorough tour of the complex company. He stated that the detour was to show the investors who are interested in the steel company the potential of the resources, and its capability to provide first-hand information on the issues impeding the production in the industry, while at the same time suggesting and providing solutions to them.
Investors will conduct an advanced technical audit of the facilities.
Statistically, he gave the data that 500,000 job opportunities will be created by Ajaokuta Steel Company, which will further decrease the level of poverty in the country. Also, interested investors will conduct an advanced technical audit of the facilities and the steel complex itself to establish more development within the company. He listed the countries of the interested investors in the steel business to include China, Arab, America and Russia. These investors showed their keen interest to the development of the company, using their advanced technical audit to evaluate possibilities to carry out a thorough completion of what needs to be done.
Audu stated that all proposals will be sent to Mr. President for endorsement, once the findings have been completed. The Minister added that there was an initiated five-year plan in addition to the three-year plan, which will be used to ensure that steel production exists in other parts of Nigeria. Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, expressed his appreciation to President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for awakening the optimism of Nigerians through the prioritization of the Ajaokuta project.
Ajaokuta staff needs to collaborate with the vision of the President.
Also, Audu was commended by Abdul-Akaba for his invaluable and great plans and visions to rejuvenate the company, highlighting that Ajaokuta is known to be a land of vast and great opportunities. He announced that Ajaokuta is not an obsolete land because it is a place that needs the attention of investors to make the multi-billion dollar company work again. However, this is in contrast to the thoughts and rumours of many people. He made it clear that to make Ajaokuta work again, the staff needs to collaborate with the vision of the President.
More so, Abdul-Akaba said that the staff also needs to work with the strategic plans of the Minister to make sure that the multi-billion dollar company works again. Mr. Jalil Hkoodshoev, a foreign investor from Novostal-M Company in Russia, had commended the plans of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to revive and awaken the firm. Emphatically, Hkoodshoev said that they have seen the plans and initiatives structured on the ground, and he is ready and interested to collaborate by investing in the industry.
It will have an impressive impact on the sub-region and Africa.
From his own point of view, he said that reviving the company will open a big opportunity for the whole of West Africa and not only Nigeria, including the African region as a whole. Hkoodshoev expressed his optimism on the initiation of the programme by the President of Nigeria, anticipating that it will have an impressive impact on the sub-region and Africa, especially Nigeria. Also, he added that he hoped to witness a level of collaboration and partnership between Russia and Nigerian government for the steel business project.
Mines and steel: Website