The recent update given on the completion of the long-abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Complex is that it would be funded by the Russian government. This is in line with the agreement signed by the Federal Government and the Russian company, MetProm Group.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, who said that the Russian company would come in with funding from the Russian Export Centre to complete Ajaokuta and make it functional.
Adegbite reportedly inspected Ajaokuta Steel Complex alongside the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, where he provided further insights into the agreement between Nigeria and Russia while fielding questions from journalists.
Nairametrics understands that although massive plants and other gigantic equipment in the complex were idle, and most of them had been overgrown with weeds, engineers and technicians were fully busy working in several workshops in the complex.
According to Adegbite, who commended the workers for maintaining the facilities in the steel complex, said most of the facilities were still functional, and as such over the years, the problems facing the company had not prevented the workers from receiving salaries.
This was confirmed by the workers of the company, under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Mines Workers, who insisted that they were not idle as they had been working even though the steel mill had not been producing.
“This place would have become a ghost town and you wouldn’t find anything anymore, the plants are here and they run them. There are a lot of dry runs and of course, they do a lot of maintenance work which we want to upgrade to manufacturing,” Adegbite said.
What you should know: The Russian Export Centre is a state-owned development institute that was established in 2015 by the Russian government with the sole aim of supporting the development of the non-commodity exports industry/sector.
It includes the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance and Eximbank of Russia to offer comprehensive integrated services to export-oriented companies.