Federal government plans to throw a fresh $25m at Ajaokuta in a bid to get it up and running

GOVERNMENT ministers have announced plans to kick-start operations at the light steel mill section of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant in Kogi State injecting a sum of N30bn ($25m) into the project to help get the facility up and running.


Ajaokuta steel mill was built by the Soviets in 1979 but has since fallen into a state of disrepair, with successive Nigerian governments failing to revive it. A few years ago, the previous government of President Muhammadu Buhari planned to bring Russian engineers back to get the facility up and running but the Coronavirus lockdown and the subsequent war in Ukraine made this impossible.


 A Russian company called Tyazhprom Export started the Ajaokuta Steel Company back in 1978 and there had been plans to get engineers from Russia to get the facility up and running again. Shuaibu Audu, Nigeria's minister of steel development, revealed that a three-year roadmap has been developed to resuscitate the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant.


He  noted that when the light steel mill section is completed, it will be able to produce 50,000 tonnes of iron rods. According to the minister, data on technical analysis and evaluation by experts showed that the government requires between $2bn and $5bn to revive the entire Ajaokuta Steel Company.


Mr Audu said: “What we plan to do is start the light steel mill section, which will cost us about N35bn ,to be able to produce 50,000 metric tonnes of iron rods. Discussions are ongoing with the ministers in charge of defence and interior in collaboration with Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria to revive its engineering workshop to produce military hardware for the military."