The Federal Government has secured about $1.46 billion dollars for the completion of the Ajaokuta steel mills located in Ajaokuta, Kogi state.
The present administration is determined to complete the 40yrs multi-billion dollar project which made it take such giant stride.
The Minister of Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite disclosed this to newsmen during an interview in Abuja, saying the Russian Export Centre and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is set to make the fund available.
The Minister said the same Russians who built the mills (under the then Soviet Union) have demonstrated willingness to complete what they started under the agreement that would make a paradigm shift in the nation’s economy.
In his statement which partly reads, “The beauty of it is that we got funding – the Russian Export Centre which is akin to what is called EXIM Bank in other countries, pledged a sum of $460 million towards this project, while Afreximbank which is the bank in which we are also shareholders, also pledged a billion dollars.”
Adegbite expressed optimism that the steel industry is set to reposition Nigeria into Industrial era, the country faced setbacks was because of our gap incapacity of lack of steel that would enable us to produce even the simplest implements like industrial machine parts and car parts that will go a long way in boosting the nation’s economy.
He explained Nigeria was handicapped in producing things like machine part was because steel is required in producing such things.
Now that we can produce liquid steel, the onus lye on us to manipulate them into various forms ranging from alloys to other related materials.
The Minister said a lot of works have been going on in the industry; only that government did not want to make noise about it but to surprised Nigerians that we can still achieve a lot in the industrialisation era.
Adegbite said soon “There is a meeting that is coming up in Cairo, and the Russians and the Nigerian team will meet there.
This meeting is to crystallise everything and then we go into the memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Once this is done, we will move faster.”