In a significant move towards achieving its mandate of revitalising the steel sector, promoting industrialisation, diversifying the economy, creating jobs and boosting the gross domestic product (GDP), the Ministry of Steel Development is partnering with financial institutions for optimal financing options to restart the light steel mill in Ajaokuta.
Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu disclosed this during a meeting with the MD/CEO of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Wole Adeniyi at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja on December 5, 2023. He emphasised the need to secure funding of approximately N35 billion to resume the operations of the light mill section of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for iron rod production, aligning with the goals of the present administration’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda. The ministry plans to revive Ajaokuta in phases within specified timelines and benchmarks.
Audu highlighted existing agreements with the Federal Ministry of Works to serve as off-takers for the produced rods and with the Ministry of Defence to construct a military complex in Ajaokuta. He expressed confidence in the vast opportunities in Ajaokuta and the potential for significant achievements.
Representing the CEO of Stanbic Bank, the bank’s head of industrials, Debola Seriki conveyed the bank’s willingness to collaborate with the ministry. He encouraged the Ministry to provide detailed information for consideration in realising the project.
In a parallel meeting, the minister engaged with top management from UBA and Voda Infrastructure Management Ltd, aiming to secure funds for the project’s immediate commencement and ensure sustainable development in the sector. The ministry’s head of press and public relations, Tine-Iulun M.A, confirmed the ongoing efforts towards this collaborative initiative.