BY OBUTE JAMES
The Chairman, House Committee on Steel Development, Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali (Halims) has said that if Ajaokuta Steel Mill is brought to limelight and fully into production over 10, 000 skilled workers and more than 400,000 artisans will be employed.
Hon. Abdullahi Ibrhaim Ali who represents Ankpa/Omala/Olamaboro Federal Constituency of Kogi State who made this known in an interview with THE LEGISLATURE (www.thelegislatureng.com) shortly after the budget Defence of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel and some other agencies on Monday 15th November, said his committee will leave no stone unturned to ensure the Ajaokuta Steel Mill and all other steel mills become fully operational in the country.
He said the Legislative arm particularly the House Committee on Steel Development is collaborating with the Executive arm of government and relevant stakeholders to ensure the steel industry is brought to limelight and fully into operation.
The lawmaker said if Ajaokuta Steel Mill alone is fully into production, it will go along way in the industrialization of the country.
“Let me tell you that if Ajaokuta Steel Mill is brought to limelight, and fully into production, it will employ over 10,000 skilled workers as well as employ over 400, 000 artisans.
“It will go along way in the industrialization of this country.
“If Ajaokuta Steel Mill is fully into production, it will drastically reduce unemployment and crimes in this country.” Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims said.
On what is the major obstacle and how to overcome it, he said the Minster of Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite revealed during the 2022 Budget Defence that the major challenge of the Ajaokuta Steel Mill is the technical auditing.
“The minister has made it very clear that the only challenge of Ajaokuta Steel Mill is technical auditing. He said the Federal Executive Council, FEC has already approved the fund for the technical auditing and I believe once the money is released, the problem will be solved and it will commence full operations. The Russians and other major players in the industry will be fully on ground to ensure it is fully operational,” Halims said.
Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) popularly known as Ajaokuta Steel Mill is a steel mill in Nigeria, located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, Nigeria. Built on a 24,000 hectares (59,000 acres) site starting in 1979. According to some reports, it is the largest steel mill in Nigeria, and the coke oven and byproducts plant are larger than all the refineries in Nigeria combined. However, the project was mismanaged and remains incomplete 40 years later.
Three-quarters of the complex have been abandoned, and only the light mills have been put into operation for small-scale fabrication and the production of iron rods.
The Ajaokuta Steel Mill was still unfinished four decades after construction began. After several failed attempts at privatisation, the Nigerian government took back control in 2016. The Ajaokuta Steel Mill still had not produced a single sheet of steel by December 2017. The light mills were finally put into operation in 2018 for small-scale fabrication and the production of iron rods. However, three-quarters of the plant have been abandoned, including the large-scale equipment and the internal railway.