Nigeria approves N853M for Ajaokuta Steel concession consultants

The government of Nigeria has approved the engagement of transaction advisors for consultancy services for its concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the announcement and said the approval also includes the National Iron Ore Mining Complex in Itakpe, Kogi State. The contract for the consultancy services was awarded to CPCS Transform Consortium for N853 million.

The Ajaokuta steel company in Kogi State was envisaged to serve as the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization. The idea of having a steel industry was conceived in 1958 by the federal government and the complex reportedly reached 98% completion as far back as 1994, but it has since been largely abandoned with no steel produced.

“Council approved the engagement of transaction advisors for consultancy 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 in the sum of N853,266,644.4 inclusive of 7.5percent VAT,” the minister said.

Slow pace

“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. By the end of 1983, the contract had reached an advanced stage, regrettably, since then it has been suffering and by 1994, TPE demobilized from site and in 1996, the contract was determined. Subsequently, various administrations have tried to revive the Ajaokuta steel complex without much success. However, you will recall that Mr President was on a state visit to Russia on the 22nd and 24th October 2019 and here it was resolved that Ajaokuta steel complex which the Federal Government has made massive investment must be resuscitated,” Mr Mohammed added.

He explained that COVID-19 has slowed down the efforts of the Ministry of Mines and Steel to bring this to fruition.

“However, today, the council has approved the award of a contract not just for Ajaokuta but for the iron ore in Itakpe. We believe that with this development, we would have made significant steps in bringing back to life both the Ajaokuta and the iron ore company in Itakpe and moving forward the industrial revolution of Nigeria. Because, when these two complexes begin to function, then, not only are we 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.

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