President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the federal government has appointed a transaction adviser for the concession of the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe.
Buhari disclosed this at the 2022 Nigeria Mining Week on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said a selection process is in the works, as the FG is committed to growing Nigeria’s steel industry.
A comprehensive roadmap for the mining sector: The president, who was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, stated that the FG’s commitment to Nigeria’s mineral sector has led to a comprehensive Roadmap for the growth and development of the Nigerian Mining Sector.
He also noted that his administration has committed more resources to the development of the mining sector than any other government in the history of this country, citing that huge investment in the mining sector had yielded positive results over time.
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“We are proud that the indices of development in the sector are rapidly changing. Part of these is the increased revenue generation and of course, the unprecedented investment interest that the industry has attracted in the past few years.
“Nigeria, for the first time, has a world-class gold mine in Segilola, Osun State, operated by Thor Exploration. Also, Eta Zuma Mining and Industries Limited, and Mosra Enerji are mining and supplying the coal needs of Dangote and Bua Cement factories.
“In the steel industry, African Natural Resources and Mines Limited, owners of the Kagarko Integrated Steel plant, is about to produce liquid Steel from its Iron ore mine in Kaduna State,” he said.
He noted that growth in the sector will boost the country’s export earnings and job creation, stimulate industrial growth as a local source of raw materials and improve the quality of lives in rural communities.
On Ajaokuta, Buhari said the development of the steel industry is a huge priority, noting that the FG is committed to the concession of the steel company.
“Our vision for an industrialized nation cannot be achieved without a vibrant steel sector. We understand the huge demand for Steel and Iron in our domestic markets and across the sub-region. This is why we prioritized the resolution of all the issues constraining the full operation of the Ajaokuta Steel company.
“To this end, a transaction adviser has been appointed to concession the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe. The selection process is ongoing. Our commitment is to break the jinx and actualize the dream of a vibrant steel industry,” he said.
President Buhari also added that the FG is working to legalize the operations of artisanal miners by scaling up knowledge of formalization techniques and building up its ability on real-time data collection of artisanal mining sites in the country.
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State of Ajaokuta Steel Plant: The Ajaokuta Steel Plant, located in Kogi State, was developed in 1979 by the Russian engineering company, Technopromexxport (TPE) under the Shehu Shagari government.
The company is yet to be completed despite investing $8 billion in it over the years. The steel company was designed to produce 5.2 million tons of various types of steel products.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that Nigeria’s mineral production grew by 39.19% in 2021, from 64.29 million tons recorded in 2020 to 89.48 million tons in 2021, in its ‘Mineral Production Statistics for 2021.
The report added that the most mined mineral in Nigeria remains granite at 22.3 million tons.