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FG Restates Commitment To Reviving Ajaokuta Steel Industry, Unveils 3-Year Roadmap

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The Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Abubakar.
The Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu.

The Federal Government has assured that the long-anticipated revival of the Ajaokuta Steel Industry will become a reality within the next three years. 

The Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Audu shared this ambitious plan during the first media interaction held at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja today.

The minister outlined that the three-year roadmap is a strategic initiative aimed at kickstarting the production of key components within the steel production line. This timeframe aligns with the broader goal of positioning Nigeria as an industrialised nation. Notably, the Ministry of Steel Development, established by President Bola Tinubu in August 2023, was specifically tasked with the revival of the steel industry.

Audu acknowledged the historical challenges faced by the steel industry, which has been grappling with difficulties for over 60 years, while the Ajaokuta Steel Company, established more than 45 years ago, stands as a symbol of Nigeria’s aspiration for industrialisation.

He underscored the significant gap between the local production and consumption of steel in Nigeria, revealing that over 5 million metric tons are consumed locally, but the domestic production is a small fraction of this demand. Much of the locally produced steel is derived from scrap metals and Audu emphasised the complexity of the task assigned by the President to revive the steel industry.

FMMSD Correspondents
The Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Audu (middle) flanked by the ministry correspondents after an interactive session at the ministry headquarters in Abuja.

The minister outlined the ministry’s plan, which includes creating a 10-year roadmap for the overall revival of the metal and steel industry in Nigeria. Additionally, there is a specific three-year roadmap tailored for the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, focusing on initiating production within the planned steel production lines.

Crucial to the strategy is the concession of the Ajokuta complex to competent entities capable of executing the revival plan effectively. Audu emphasised two key aspects of this revival plan: resuscitating the life steel mill for the production of iron rods for Ajaokuta Steel Company and engaging with the Ministry of Defence to revitalise the engineering aspect, with a particular focus on producing military hardware.

Furthermore, the ministry is set to collaborate with foreign investors to establish new steel plants and engagements have already commenced with China to identify an ideal location for a steel plant. To achieve the revival of the Ajaokuta Steel Industry, an estimated $1-10 billion investment is required, with the potential to create 500,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians. Audu emphasised the need to create an enabling environment for steel production.

Highlighting the current importation trends, the Minister disclosed that Nigeria spends over $4 billion on steel imports, constituting 90 per cent of the country’s steel demand. He stressed the importance of passing a bill for the meteorological industry to support the steel sector.

In response to questions about the strategy for engaging rural areas, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Mary Ogbe highlighted plans to leverage trained institutes to certify artisans in rural areas, contributing to skill development and economic empowerment.

As the Federal Government unveils this ambitious roadmap for the revival of the Ajaokuta Steel Industry, the nation awaits the concrete implementation of these plans over the next three years, with the potential to reshape the steel sector and contribute significantly to Nigeria’s industrialisation agenda. 

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