The Nigerian government has approved the engagement of transaction advisors for consulting services for its Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited concession.
The approval also includes the National Iron Ore Mining Complex in Itakpe, Kogi State.
Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed revealed this while speaking to state house reporters after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.
The Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State was envisioned to serve as the base for Nigeria’s industrialization.
The idea of having a steel industry was conceived in 1958 by the federal government, and the complex reportedly reached 98 percent completion in 1994, but has since been largely abandoned without producing steel.
Mohammed said that the contract for the consulting services was awarded to CPCS Transform Consortium for N853 million.
“The Board approved the engagement of transaction advisors for consulting services for the concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and also the National Iron Ore Mining Complex in Itakpe in favor of mrses CPCS Transform Consortium for the sum of N853,266,644.4 including the 7.5 percent VAT”. the minister said.
“I am sure we are all familiar with the history of the Ajaokuta Steel complex.
“The contract was awarded in 1979 to a Russian company called TPE. At the end of 1983, the contract had reached an advanced stage, unfortunately, since then it has been suffering and by 1994, TPE was demobilized from the site and in 1996, the contract was determined. Subsequently, several administrations have tried to reactivate the Ajaokuta steel complex without much success.
“However, you will recall that the president paid a state visit to Russia on October 22 and 24, 2019 and here it was resolved that the Ajaokuta steel complex, in which the federal government has made a massive investment, must be resurrected,” Mohammed said.
Said COVID-19 it has slowed the efforts of the Ministry of Mines and Steel to carry it out.
“However, today, the council approved the award of a contract not only for Ajaokuta but also for iron ore at Itakpe,” he said.
“We believe that with this development, we would have taken significant steps to revive both Ajaokuta and the Itakpe iron ore company and advance Nigeria’s industrial revolution.
“Because when these two complexes start operating, then we are not only going to serve money in terms of foreign exchange, but we are going to see a lot of industrial development and also technology transfer,” he said.