Relief has come the way of the Ajaokuta Steel plant as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite reiterated commitment of the Federal government to the completion of the 41 years Steel plant.
The Minister, while addressing the Senate leaders on over-sight visit to Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) said both the Executive and the Legislature would ensure that Ajaokuta Steel Company is revived and made operational.
While adding that there is a bright future for all Nigerians when the complex is restored and starts producing at its optimal installed capacity.
Adegbite further noted that ; the COVID-19 pandemic had limited government’s ability to go forward on the Ajaokuta Steel project, saying, it was four to five months behind its planned schedule to revive the complex.
This, he said, was specifically because Russian experts who were to undertake the complex’s technical audit could not come into the country because of the corona virus pandemic and the ban on international flights. He noted that the complexity of the Ajaokuta Steel Company would make an online audit impossible as people had to be physically present.
He hinted that the technical audit that was being planned for Ajaokuta Steel Company by the Federal Government would also be done at NIOMCO. “We have the same purpose and we are focused that this project is delivered to the benefit of Nigerians, the people of Kogi and to the glory of God,” he said.
He said the Federal Government sees NIOMCO and Ajaokuta Steel Company as a conjoined-twin that could not be separated and that the Federal Government would rely on money pledged by Russians and Afrexim bank to fix both Ajaokuta Steel Complex and NIOMCO.
Adegbite, said both the Executive and the Legislature would ensure that ASCL and NIOMCO become operational before long.
According to him; “We have the same purpose and we are focused that this project is delivered to the benefit of Nigerians, the people of Kogi and to the glory of God,” he emphasized.
Similarly, the Senate Leader, Sen Abdulahi Yahaya who was accompanied by the Senate Committee Chairman on Solid Mineral, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Sen. Tanks Al-Makura and other Senate leaders said National Assembly would ensure that efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to revive ASCL and NIOMCO come to fruition.
In the same vein, the Committee Chairman, Sen. Tanko Almakura, said Senate leaders were on a fact finding mission in the State to ascertain the situation of things at ASCL and NIOMCO and ensure they commence production within shortest possible time
Sen Al-Makura said the technical audit remains paramount and cardinal towards the successful take off of ASCL and NIOMCO.