….As Indian Coy, Jindal Steel Commits to Kick-starting World Class Steel Plant
By Victoria Onehi
The Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu has said the Ministry is to partner with the Federal Ministry of Works to revive the Light Steel Mill Section of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for the production of Iron Rods to be used in constructing infrastructure across the country.
Audu made this known recently in Abuja following a joint meeting with the Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi CON and representatives of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) on plans to kick-start the Light Steel Mill Section of the Ajaokuta Complex on commercial terms.
In a statement by the Ministry, Audu stated that following the approval of Mr. President, the Ministry is set to commence a collegiate approach to reviving the Steel Plant by exploring all realistic means, explaining that the Light Steel Mill Section of Ajaokuta, once revived, will produce iron rods that would be off taken by the Federal Ministry of Works for the construction of infrastructure in the country.
The Minister thanked Umahi for the collaboration in the revival efforts of Ajaokuta Steel Plant and the Steel Sector of the country and commended him for being extremely innovative, adding that the Ministry have a solution to revitalize Ajaokuta using a collegiate approach.
Speaking further, Prince Audu noted that the Executives of UBA has given an offer, which they are about to finalise to raise the funds within a short period so that the revitalization of the Steel Plant can begin in phases.
On his part, the Minister of Works,. David Umahi while commending Prince Audu, pledged his support for the resuscitation of the moribund Plant which he said has the capacity to create thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities for Nigerians.
In another development, the Minister met with Mr Mukesh Sharma, representative of India Steel Company, Jindal Steel in Nigeria, as the Company reiterated its commitment to building a world Class Steel Plant in Nigeria worth over five billion dollars.
He noted the commitment of Jindal Steel to developing Nigeria’s Steel Sector is coming after President Tinubu successfully secured a Steel Investment Deal with the Indian Company on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in September 2023, in New Delhi, India, adding that discussions are also on with relevant Government Agencies on the best location to allocate to the Indian Company to build its Steel Plant. He expressed appreciation to Jindal Group for indicating interest to invest about 5 million dollars in Nigeria.
Earlier, VR Sharma said that Jindal Group is looking to build a World Steel Plant of about five million tons capacity which should kick-start in the next few years with the right commitments, adding that the World Steel Plant once running would not only serve the Nigerian market but the entire West Africa, Central Africa, and the European markets. Noting that a Deep Sea Port location would be an added advantage.