FG in agreement with Chinese firm to build military hardware at moribund Ajaokuta steel plant 

The Federal Government has said it is holding discussions with a Chinese firm to build a new steel plant in Nigeria and commence the building of military hardware in Ajaokuta Steel Plant.

To this end, the Federal Government has sent a delegation, led by the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu; the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Steel Development, Dr. Mary A Ogbe, to the Luan Steel Holding Group in Hefei and Guangzhou Regions of China.

Audu, in a statement in Abuja Thursday, by the Head, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Salamatu F. Jibaniya, said that the trip to China is one of the steps taken to realise the goals of reviving the steel industry in Nigeria which is in line with the Renewed Hope’ Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Audu said that work has commenced to create an operational steel industry that would attract billions of dollars of foreign direct investments into the country, open up the nation’s economy and create hundreds of thousands of job opportunities, which form the core of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

He further noted that building military hardware in Ajaokuta Steel plant is also timely, considering that Nigeria is faced with security challenges, adding that: “This would help in the fight against insecurity and terrorism.

“We had very meaningful discussions with the Chairman of Luan Steel Holding Group, Mr Wang Jianbing, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Xiao Weizhan, and other senior executives of the Luan Steel Holding Group.

“Like several other international and local investors, Luan Steel Holding Group has indicated interest in setting up a new steel plant in Nigeria, as well as handling a component of the Ajaokuta Steel plant for building military hardwares in Nigeria.”

According to Audu, “The Minister of Defence and I led this delegation, which includes the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Dr Mary Ogbe and Sole Administrator/Managing Director of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Mr Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, to enable us have a first-hand look at the Luan steel plants before arriving at a decision and with all the commitments on ground, we are optimistic that before the end of President Tinubu’s administration, we will commence commercial steel production in some of the government-owned entities in Nigeria.”

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