Ajaokuta steel complex to produce military hardware – Audu

As part of the renewed hope agenda of the present administration, the minister of steel development, Prince Shaibu Audu, said advanced discussions are underway for Ajaokuta Steel Company to produce military hardware when it becomes fully functional as against the importation of every military arsenal from outside Nigeria.

The minister stated this on Thursday in Abuja while presenting the scorecards of his ministry as part of the one year anniversary of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

Talks to that effect, he said, has commenced with the ministers of defence as the ministry works to revive the entire steel industry in line with the mandate given to the ministry.

“We have engaged with both Ministers Matawalle and Badaru to use part of the engineering workshops in Ajaokuta to start producing military hardwares in order to enhance our security architecture. We have the technological centres that can produce some of those military hardwares like helmets, bulletproof vests and others,” he said.

Also as part of the achievements of the ministry, Audu said talks are also underway with the Ministry of Works to produce iron rods for roads construction in the country instead of the massive importation of rods from overseas.

“We understand that the Ministry of Works needs about seven metric tonnes of iron annually. Ajaokuta can produce 400,000 metric tonnes to stop what we spend huge amount of money to buy from abroad,” he said.

The sector, he said, is capable of contributing to the realisation of one trillion dollars economy as directed by the president. 

That is why, according to him, the ministry has opened talks with the original builders of the complex to return and complete it even if it would be on a public/private arrangement with some of the assets used as collaterals.

At the moment, he said the complex which was 98 percent completed as 1979 has deteriorated over the years; therefore there is a need to do a comprehensive audit of the whole project even as he also announced that an arrangement is on with power companies like Niger Delta Power Holdings, Transcorp Power and Reticulated Global Engineering for collaboration on energy source.

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