Ajaokuta Steel Company to be operational in two years — Minister

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*Adegbite

The minister of mines and steel development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, has given hope that the Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State will come on stream in the next two years.

The minister stated this today during a facility tour of the steel complex.

Adegbite commended the staff of the company for ensuring the security and maintenance of the facilities.

“The plants are there and some of them are fully functional, the only reason Ajaokuta is still here, is because the staff are being paid salaries over the years.

“They have not only ensured that the plants are here, but they also ensured their maintenance and functionality,” he said.

He said though the workshops are functioning, the federal government’s desire is to upgrade the facility to the manufacturing and production of materials for possible export.

The minister also said the government would collaborate with the African Export-Import Bank and the Russia Export Centre to ensure that the steel plant was rehabilitated for full capacity operations.

The federal government, it would be recalled, allocated N3.796 billion to the company in the 2020 budget and is counting on Russia to get the complex running optimally.

The agreement to revive the steel company was reached at a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin during the Russia-Africa summit held in October in Sochi, Russia.

The partnership is expected to help get sections of the factory to begin full production before the end of 2019.

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