Abuja — The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite has revealed that funds for resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel project is already in place and that work will commence on the project once the Russian contractor to handle the resuscitation work is identified.
The minister, who disclosed this during a facility tour of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, NRSMEA, in Kaduna, stated that the Federal Government would be signing a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with the yet to be identified Russian company by January 2020.
Adegbite, who also revealed that a committee had been set up to drive the project, asked the Director-General of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, NRSMEA, to nominate two persons from the agency to join the committee.
The minister noted that the agency was invaluable towards the resuscitation and development of Ajaokuta Steel as he underlined Federal Government’s efforts to bring the abandoned project to completion.
He said: “As you all know, the President is making sure that we resuscitate Ajaokuta Steel, that Ajaokuta should come back on stream. We have taken the first step. Talks are on with the original builders, a Russian company and MOU Draft is being studied by both sides.
“And hopefully, sometime in January 2020, we will probably sign the MOU and once the contractors are identified from the Russian side, the funds are already in place, the work will start.
“While we are still waiting as being promised for the two to three years agreement period to fire up Ajaokuta, there are a lot of activities that must start simultaneously”