FG and Russian Federation to Synergize in Revamping Ajeokuta Steel Company

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ABUJA (Min of Mines and Steel Dev) – As the Federal Government strives to diversify the economy through the Mining and Steel Sector, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, stressed that the revitalization of Ajaokuta Steel Company to produce optimally, is of utmost concern to the present administration.

This was made known when the Minister received the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Alexey Shebarshir in his office recently.

The Minister pointed out that the company has not been producing optimally owing to some legal encumbrances and that the government has been expending a huge amount of money to ensure that the assets at the company were not vandalized.

Adegbite informed them of the government’s readiness to welcome any collaboration aimed at revitalizing the steel industry to operate in full capacity, as the Federal Government is already working hard to ensure that some sections of the company start production before the end of the year.

He further revealed that plans were on ground to engage relevant companies on meaningful discussions to employ strategic approaches on the best ways to reinvigorate the Ajaokuta Steel into full production, to achieve the vision of making it the hub of industrialization not only in Nigeria, but Africa at large.

The Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshir, who spoke earlier, said that his country was ready to partner with Nigeria in resuscitating Ajaokuta Steel Company, especially in the areas of rebuilding infrastructure and overhauling of the plant.

He emphasised the need for the Federal Government to protect the private investors who were interested in turning the company around for maximum production.

While commenting on the partnership, the Russian Deputy Head of Mission, Trade and Economic Affairs, Valery Shaposhnikov, said that they had carried out an on-the-spot analysis of the challenges militating against the smooth operation of the company.

He called for more engagement between government and stakeholders in the industry to be better informed and to fashion out the best ways to tackle the issues hindering the operations of the company.

Shaposhnikov reiterated his country’s readiness from the inception of the company to harness the potential of steel in providing the necessary equipment for the industrialization of the country

Eweama, Sunny
For Director (Press and Public Relation Unit)