Ajaokuta Steel Mill: Production Of Military Hardware, Iron Rods To Take Place Soon – Minister

Ajaokuta Steel Mill: Production Of Military Hardware, Iron Rods To Take Place Soon – Minister

The Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Audu, has announced the Federal Government’s intention to begin manufacturing military hardware at the Ajaokuta Steel Mill.

He stated that he has been collaborating with colleagues from the Ministries of Defence and Works to finalise plans for the steel plant, which has been inactive for several years, to initiate the production of iron rods and military equipment.

In addition to restarting light steel mill, we want to produce military hardware in Ajaokuta Steel.

“I have been working very closely with Minister of Defence Badaru and Minister of Works Senator Umahi to work hand in hand to produce iron rod in Ajaokuta and to produce military hardware capabilities in Ajaokuta.

“Whether it is helmets, whether it is bullets, whether it is vests, whether it is pads for tanks of all shapes and all of those things or rifles ammunitions, we will be able to have the capacity to be able to do that,” Audu said on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

The Ajaokuta Steel Mill, a substantial project initiated over four decades ago, has suffered mismanagement under successive governments, preventing it from realising its full potential.

Nevertheless, the minister affirmed that the present administration is dedicated to rejuvenating the light steel mill within the steel complex, aiming to enable the production of iron rods.

He stated that experts estimate the complete revitalisation of the entire complex would require between two to five billion dollars, with the light steel mill section alone costing approximately N35 billion.

The minister further revealed that President Bola Tinubu had granted him approval to secure local funding for the revival of the light steel mill section within the steel plant.

He highlighted that the N35 billion investment in the steel plant is anticipated to enable the production of 50,000 tons of iron rods, with the potential to scale up to 400,000 tons.

Audu identified a lack of political will as one of the key factors contributing to the non-functionality of the Ajaokuta Steel Mill for over 40 years.

I think part of the issue is that there has been no political will. This is the first time in our 63-year history since independence that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has created a Steel Ministry.

“He understands the industrial revolution will hinge on the Ministry of Steel. There were some concessions done in the past where concessionaires brought in didn’t have the skills required to be able to carry out the job, so those were some of the challenges,” he said.

The minister also revealed that the recent concession agreement with Global Steel was terminated, leading the Nigerian government to pay approximately $496 million as compensation for ending the contract with the Indian company.

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