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Ajaokuta Steel to supply 400,000mt of iron rods for road construction across Nigeria — Minister

Shuaibu Abubakar Audu e1692605265547

The Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, stated that the light section mill of Ajaokuta Steel will supply around 400,000 metric tonnes of iron rods to the Ministry of Works for road construction across Nigeria upon completion.

Audu made this announcement on Thursday during the press briefing of the 12-month review of the performance of the ministers of President Bola Tinubu in Abuja.

The Minister noted that the President has approved the restart of the light section mill at the Ajaokuta complex, with a seed capital of N35 billion from a private financial institution.

Accordingly, he said his ministry is partnering with David Umahi to supply 40,000 metric tonnes of iron rods for road construction across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

He acknowledged that the 30,000 km of roads under construction nationwide would need about 7 million metric tonnes of iron rods over four years, yet confirmed Ajaokuta can supply 400,000 metric tonnes annually to these projects.

“We are at the final stage of raising over N35 billion from a local financial institution which is about $25 million to restart the light section mill of the complex so that we can produce iron rods.

“That light section mill has the capacity to produce up to 400,000 metric tonnes of iron rods per annum.

“I have been working very closely to the Minister of Works, Mr.  David Umahi, so that we can provide iron rods to the ministry as part of the concrete road revolution of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“There are so many roads that are being constructed across the country, about 30,000km roads across the six geopolitical zones.

“We understand that the ministry of works needs about 7 million metric tonnes of iron rods over 4 years period to construct the 30,000 km of roads. Ajaokuta can produce 400,000 metric tonnes which is a drop in the ocean of what is required.

“But because it is an important asset, the president is keen on us getting Ajaokuta to work and being able to produce some of these iron rods that is required by the federal government,” Audu said.

What you should know

In an earlier statement, the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu, said that reviving the Ajaokuta steel mill will cost something in the range of $2 billion to $5 billion.

  • He said this huge sum required to revive the company was responsible for the government’s piecemeal approach towards getting the plant to work.
  • The steel complex which was established in 1975 during the erstwhile president Sheu Shagari has remained moribund 45 years after its launch.
  • Although the complex has the capacity to produce all the required steels the country needs, it inability to function has caused Nigeria to become an import-dependent country when it comes to steel.
  • According to the Minister, Nigeria now spends about $4 billion annually in that importation of these critical infrastructural equipment.

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