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Ajaokuta Steel Complex. It's yet to open 40 years after its construction began. The Nigerian government is making efforts to put the complex into operation /Photo: Screensot/Aljazeera

Nigeria: Russia gives conditions for Ajaokuta Steel Complex to thrive

A rail line and a functional sea port would be needed for Ajaokuta Steel Complex to thrive whenever it starts production, an on-the-spot assessment of the steel mill has shown.

The on-the-spot assessment, which involved a facility tour, was carried out by experts from MetProm Group, a Russian company which had offered to rehabilitate the steel complex and run it.

The development was disclosed to our correspondent in Abuja by a Russian government official, Deputy Head of Mission, Trade and Economic Affairs, Mr Valery Shaposhnikov.

Shaposhnikov, who was part of the delegation that participated in the facility tour, said the Federal Government needed to address some ‘outstanding infrastructural issues’ before the steel complex could be put to effective use.

He said, “There seems to be a number of outstanding infrastructural issues that the country will have to address before it can fully capitalise on the plant.

“A railway is essential for a continuous supply of ore from the remote mines; a port would be needed to secure a trouble-free shipment of coal.”

The Russian envoy was quick to stress that the decision to undertake the projects was with the Nigerian government.

“These are matters of Nigeria’s sovereign economic development,” he told reporters.

Giving further insight into the findings from the facility tour, Shaposhnikov told reporters that facilities in the steel complex were in ‘healthy’ condition.

MetProm Group, recently made a fresh offer to the Federal Government to finally put the Ajaokuta Steel Complex into operation. On its website, The company describes itself as “recognised leaders in designing projects in metallurgy, supply of equipment, execution of construction and erection works and erection of equipment up to reaching the design capacity. 

Kola Tella

Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) popularly known as Ajaokuta Steel Mill is an iron and steel complex in Nigeria, located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, Nigeria. Built on a 24,000 hectares (59,000 acres) site starting in 1979, it is the largest steel mill in Nigeria. However, the project has been mismanaged and remains incomplete 40 years later. Three-quarters of the complex have been abandoned, and only the light rolling mills have been put into operation for small-scale fabrication and the production of iron rods.

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