A proposal to rejig the services of the long abandoned Ajaokuta Steel has been tabled before the Federal Government by MetProm Group, a Russian firm.
This was disclosed in a meeting between a delegation of Russian officials and the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
The Russian officials were led by Ambassador of Russia to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshir. The Ministry was represented by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, and the Minister of State, Uche Ogah.
The Details: The company doesn’t just want to rehabilitate the steel mill, but also expressed a desire to maintain the steel mill when fully operational.
[READ MORE: Why Ajaokuta Cannot Make Steel]
Nairametrics understands that the offer has been forwarded to the Federal Government since September 10.
What you should know: MetProm Group is different from TyazhPromExport (TPE), another Russian firm which originally built the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.
In 2016, a former minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, explained that the Federal Government decided to jettison TPE because the company did not want to complete the steel mill.
The minister’s statement was, however, countered by the Russian embassy, which insisted at the time that TPE was still interested in the project.
Plot Twist: Nairametrics discovered that majority of the engineers of MetProm Group worked with TPE at Ajaokuta Steel Complex before the arrangement between the Russian company and the Federal Government broke down.
Forgetting the bitter past: Valery Shaposhnikov, Russian Deputy Head of Mission, Trade and Economic Affairs, urged both parties to forget the bitter past and key into this new offer that would bring the steel complex to full operations. He also noted that experience of the engineers, who are familiar with the project, would be very important in the actualisation of this deal.
“I honestly do not see much use in muddling about with conjectures of the past. What matters now is an offer by a reliable Russian company, MetProm Group, to put the mill into operation. Many of MetProm experts had worked with TPE at Ajaokuta complex in the past. The company (MetProm Group) comes with a profound expertise in modern heavy industry and in the Ajaokuta case in particular,” Shaposhnikov said.
Meanwhile, MetProm Group, on its website, describes itself as “recognised leaders in designing projects in metallurgy, supply of equipment, execution of construction and erection works and erection of equipment up to reaching the design capacity.”
Shaposhnikov said the onus lies on Nigeria to either agree to accept or reject the offer.
“It will depend on the agreement. The Nigerian side will define the strategy and the order of work,” he said.
FG to open Kano, new MM International Airports for use in March
The new MAKIA terminal, new Murtala Muhammed international Airport (MMIA) will be ready before the end of March 2021.
The Federal Government is to open the new Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) terminal, and new Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) for business before the end of March 2021, while the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu terminal will come on stream in due course.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, recently at the Nigeria’s National Action Committee on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), where part of his mission was to advocate support for the industry.
He said, “We also advocate for special support for aviation industry specifically, to fast track systems upgrade in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu in a view to matching international best standards.
“In our own modest way in Nigeria, we have developed these five airports. We have completed Abuja, Port Harcourt and put to use. Kano is completed and will be put to use in March, Lagos will be put to use in the same March and Enugu in due course.”
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 5th of March 2021, 371 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 158,042 confirmed cases.
On the 5th of March 2021, 371 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 158,042 cases have been confirmed, 137,025 cases have been discharged and 1,954 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A total of 1.54 million tests have been carried out as of March 5th, 2021 compared to 1.49 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 5th March 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 158,042
- Total Number Discharged – 137,025
- Total Deaths – 1,954
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,544,008
According to the NCDC, the 371 new cases are reported from 20 states- Lagos (101), Rivers (54), Anambra (31), Ebonyi (23), Imo (23), Kwara (22), Kano (20), Taraba (17), Akwa Ibom (16), FCT (15), Abia (13), Kaduna (13), Osun (5), Edo (4), Oyo (4), Kebbi (3), Ogun (3), Ekiti (2), Nasarawa (1), and Zamfara (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 56,374, followed by Abuja (19,328), Plateau (8,939), Kaduna (8,623), Oyo (6,761), Rivers (6,651), Edo (4,645), Ogun (4,419), Kano (3,830), Ondo (3,066), Kwara (2,953), Delta (2,582), Osun (2,449), Nasarawa (2,248), Enugu (2,078), Katsina (2,060), Gombe (2,010), Ebonyi (1,951), Anambra (1,811), Akwa Ibom (1,588), and Abia (1,568).
Imo State has recorded 1,551 cases, Borno (1,297), Bauchi (1,232), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (942), Niger (917), Taraba (863), Ekiti (825), Bayelsa (779), Sokoto (769), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (401), Cross River (334), Yobe (288), Zamfara (221), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.
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