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Govt will ensure Ajaokuta becomes operational in two years — Minister

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The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, said on Friday the Federal Government would leave no stone unturned in the bid to ensure that the Ajaokuta Steel Company becomes fully operational in the next two years.

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Adegbite stated this in Ajaokuta during a tour of the steel complex.

The minister commended the staff of the company for ensuring the security and maintenance of the facilities.

He said: “The plants are there and some of them are fully functional, the only reason Ajaokuta is still here, is because the staff are being paid salaries over the years.

“They have not only ensured that the plants are here, but they also ensured their maintenance and functionality.”

According to Adegbite, though the workshops are functioning, the desire of the federal government is to upgrade the facility to the manufacturing and production of materials for possible export.

He said the government would collaborate with the African Export-Import Bank and the Russia Export Centre to ensure that the steel plant was rehabilitated for full capacity operations.

The federal government had allocated N3.796 billion to the Steel Plant in the 2020 Budget and was counting on Russia to get the complex running optimally.

An accord to revive the Ajaokuta project was reached at a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during the Russia-Africa summit held in Sochi in October.

The partnership is expected to help get sections of the factory to begin full production before the end of this year. (NAN)





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