African Natural Resources and Mines Limited is collaborating with Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered Bank to build a steel plant, capable of producing 5.4 metric tons of steel daily in Kagorko, Kaduna State. According to The Nation, the plant, which requires a $600m investment will create about 3,500 direct jobs. Abubakar Bwari, ex-minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, disclosed this at his hand-over ceremony in Abuja on Thursday.
Two Banks Funding: According to Bwari, Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered Bank will assist with funding the project valued about $600 million. “Two weeks ago, Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered Bank agreed to provide $600 million as funding for an integrated iron and steel plant being built in Kagorko, Kaduna State by African Natural Resources and Mines Limited. The project will have a capacity of 5.4 metric tonnes per day and generate 3,500 direct jobs.
Stanbic and Stan Chart both have foreign backing and could leverage on their international network for the experience and know-how required to fund transactions of this nature.
Business Case: Nigeria’s Basic Metal, Iron and Steel Industry returned to growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 after two consecutive quarters of contraction. Growth for the first quarter of 2019 was 1.49% suggesting a semblance of sustainable growth. However, most Steel companies complain of weak turnover due to a lag in the construction sector, which ironically is growing faster at 2.33%.
Nigeria Now Exports Zinc: He said the administration has been kind to the sector, saying it was leaving it better than it met it. According to him, Nigeria is also currently exporting Zinc. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate Base Metal Exports rose from N26.3 billion in 2017 to N59.1 billion in 2018. Bwari confirmed that the National lntegrated Mining Exploration Project, which the ministry embarked on, had made fresh discoveries.
New Discoveries: Bwari said, “similarly, Kogi Iron has discovered ways to make high-grade steel from their iron ore site in Kogi State, thus proving that apart from Itakpe, there are other sites to mine primary iron ore.”
Milestones Recorded: According to Bwari, “in less than four years, we have been able to record some major achievements, including plugging revenue leakages, increasing sector funding, producing more accurate geoscience data through world-class exploration projects, improving job opportunities in the sector while developing the downstream sector. We also initiated a N15 billion National integrated Mining Exploration Project which has already discovered new findings. After the conclusion of the project, the areas of new anomalies will be sold to investors who will bring in foreign direct investment to increase the revenue coming into the economy.”