The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the engagement of transaction advisors for advisory services for the concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited.
The National Iron Ore Mining Complex in Itakpe, Kogi State, was also approved.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, told State House Correspondents about it shortly after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), presided over a hybrid FEC meeting at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
Mohammed, speaking on behalf of Mines and Steel Minister, Olamilekan Adegbite, said the move gave the long-abandoned piece of infrastructure a new lease on life.
He said “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 favour of Messrs CPCS Transform Consortium in the sum of N853,266,644.4 inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT.
“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 advanced stage. Regrettably, since then it has been suffering and by 1994, TPE demobilised from site and 1996, the contract was terminated.
“Subsequently, various administrations have tried to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Company without much success. However, you will recall that Mr President was on a state visit to Russia on October 22 and 24, 2019, and here it was resolved that the Ajaokuta Steel Company, which the Federal Government has made massive investment, must be resuscitated.”
He further explained that the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the efforts of the Ministry of Mines to bring the project to fruition.
“However, today, the council has approved the award of a contract, not just for Ajaokuta, but also for the Iron Ore in Itakpe.
“We believe that with this development, we would have made significant step in bringing back to life both the Ajaokuta and the Iron Ore company in Itakpe and move forward the industrial revolution of Nigeria.
“When these two complexes begin to function, then, not only are we going to save money in terms of foreign exchange, but we are going to see a lot of industrial development and also technology transfer,” he said.