Nigeria’s Ajaokuta Steel Plant in Need of $2 Billion for Revival



By Milcah Tanimu

Shuaibu Abubakar-Audu, Minister of Steel Development, highlighted the pressing need for funding to revitalize the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, stating that over $2 billion is required for its revival. During his visit to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and stakeholders in the indigenous steel sector in Ilorin, Kwara State, the Minister emphasized the challenges faced in resuscitating the dormant plant.

Abubakar-Audu underscored the current administration’s commitment, led by President Bola Tinubu, to bolster Nigeria’s economy by fostering indigenous industrialization, particularly in the steel sector. He disclosed ongoing discussions regarding the establishment of an industrial park at the Ajaokuta Steel Mill to attract key players in the industry.

The Ajaokuta Steel Complex, despite being inaugurated before Nigeria’s independence, remains inactive, outlasting 16 administrations that have failed to revive it. The plant, situated in Kogi State, boasts completed infrastructure, including housing estates, power lines, and water treatment facilities, yet it remains idle.

Efforts to resuscitate the plant have been hindered by contractual encumbrances and force majeure situations, leading to massive foreign exchange losses over the past four decades. To address this, the Muhammadu Buhari administration inaugurated the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Resuscitation and Implementation Team in 2020, aiming to revive the plant based on its original design.

Despite significant progress in completing plant units, challenges persist in realizing the plant’s full operational capacity. The Minister’s call for substantial funding underscores the critical importance of revitalizing the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for Nigeria’s industrial growth and economic development.


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