Ajaokuta: FG regrets that Nigeria’s annual steel imports amount to $8 billion
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Ajaokuta: FG regrets that Nigeria’s annual steel imports amount to $8 billion

Nigeria spends almost $8 billion a year on steel imports, according to Mr. Shuaib Abubakar, the Minister of Steel Development.

The Ajaokuta Steel Company, he added, must now operate.

This was revealed by the minister at Thursday’s interactive session in Abuja with the House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development.

“We have prepared a 10-year plan for the revival of Ajaokuta Steel, and the revival will cost money,” he said. It is our intention to submit the document to the President.

Being from Kogi State, Abubakar claimed it was in his personal best interest for Ajaokuta Steel to be successful.

In order to end the concessional deal on Ajaokuta, the federal government paid $500 million, he added, and the ministry was making every effort to resolve the matter with Ajaokuta Steel.

For forty-five years, this issue has remained unsolved. To invest in the steel industry, which includes building a new facility, and to secure funding, we have traveled to China.

He mentioned that the difficulties had evolved due to the emergence of new technologies, as well as innovation and related talks, but that nothing had been settled.

The Ministry of Steel Development faces a significant difficulty in terms of funding. If enough money is available, the steel industry will support industrialization.

I have a ways to go before I can solve the Ajaokuta Steel Company’s problems.

The minister downplayed the significance of the $2 billion sought to reinvigorate the floundering steel business, saying that the number was merely an initial estimate and might not be sufficient.

This is just a guess, and it might not be precise down to the last digit, he claims. This is merely a procedure that will lead us to our intended location.

The figure will be updated once the technical audit is completed, as the president has requested that I resolve the Ajaokuta issue.

Nigeria is well aware that this cannot go without financial support and the full cooperation of both houses of Congress. To make this happen, I’m counting on your help.

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