According to Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, the government is committed to towards ensuring that sections of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited start production before the end of 2019.
In expressing his country’s commitment to the project, the Russian envoy said, “Russia is ready to partner the Federal Government to revamp the ailing company.”
H.E Shebarshir also revealed that Russia was willing to participate in rebuilding infrastructure and overhauling of the company’s plants.
Adegbite noted that the revitalisation of Ajaokuta Steel was of utmost concern to the present administration and the pledge from Russia to help in the rescusitation of the steel milling facility was therefore highly welcome.
“The government is ready to embrace any collaboration aimed at revitalising the steel industry to operate in full capacity,”said Adegbite.
The Ajaokuta Steel facility which has the potential of becoming the largest steel miller in Africa has never been functioning optimally since its inception in 1979.
The government cited legal encumbrances as one of the setbacks affecting the company’s performance.
According to the minister, plans were underway to engage relevant companies on meaningful discussions with a view to employing strategic approaches towards revamping the company.
Ajakouta Steel Company was a project undertaken by the Soviet Union in 1967 and was expected to start operation in 1979.
The facility which sits on a 59,000 acre piece of land has for over 40 years operated in minimal capacity and is expected to produce over 10 million tonnes of steel rods annually once fully operational.