NIGERIA will need to invest a total of $652m in the Ajaokuta Steel Complex if it wants to have the facility up and running according to a recent report published by a group of Ukrainian and Nigerian professionals.
According to the audit put together by a group of Nigerian engineers, technicians and other professionals and two Ukrainian steel experts, the plant had reached 95.7% completion. Apparently, the audit of the plant, which was built as a joint venture between the governments of Nigeria and the Soviet Union in the 1970s, was conducted in April 2018 and submitted to the government.
It was presented to a former minister of state for mines and steel development Bawa Bwari, by the sole administrator of the company, Sumaila Abdul-Akaba. According to the report, which was an updated version of the last technical evaluation done in the year 2010 by M/S Reprom Nigeria Limited, reactivation and completion requirement stands at $652m.
Mr Abdul-Akaba said: “The 2018, technical audit of the Ajaokuta steel plant was undertaken fully by Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited engineers, technicians and other professionals. This is in line with the policy of the present federal government on the utilisation of maximum local content possible in the execution of sundry public works in the country.
“The Ajaokuta steel plant had been under the care of professionals over the years, some of who even partook in the construction and erection. It was therefore an opportunity to know hidden details which no outside contractor could get.
“It also afforded the company the opportunity to assemble raw information on the plants and equipment which can form the basis for future assessments and decisions if need be. This advantage was not there in the previous exercises that were wholly carried out by foreign contractors.”
He also explained that some specialists assigned by the president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers as well as two experts in steel plant from Ukraine were involved in the audit, which produced a report presented in four parts. Part two of the report was said to be in 10 volumes.
In 2018, Nigeria’s House of Representatives resisted the proposal of the government to sell Ajaokuta to private-sector investors. They asked the government to complete the plant rather than sell it to investors, passing a vote of no confidence on Dr Fayemi and Mr Bwari for failing to appear during its probe hearing.