15 January 2013

Nigeria: No Plan to Dump Ajaokuta Steel - Minister

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Mohammed Sada, yesterday refuted allegations that the Federal Government was set to dump Ajaokuta steel.

Speaking in an exclusive telephone chat with LEADERSHIP yesterday, the Minister who were reacted to the allegation by some media reports that he was 'set to advise the FG to discontinue its drive for the completion of ASCO,' re-iterated that there was no truth in the report.

He said the reports could have been referring to the technical committee instituted by the Ministry of Finance which had created a draft of its findings, of which he was yet toreceive any report, nor see any details to that effect.

Sada said, "the FG was doing all its best to ensure that the legal matters instituted by the Indians were settled before bringing in third party investors who were many waiting to be given the opportunity to revive the sector."

He argued that the complex was already completed and all that was lacking was the cooking oven which was a small thing.

He further argued that Japan which was one of the most technological advanced country lacked most of its steel raw materials but remained a steel producing nation. He maintained that everything was completed and all that was left was for management to begin to put the available equipments to effective use.

Sada argued that no country could completely own its steel sector 100% without investors, but assured that until the legal shackles hindering the sector were untied, there was not much management or government could do about the massive complex.

"Some of the challenges which had remained poignant to the development of the sector had been the struggle to ensure that the ministry of justice releases them from the binding encumbrances of legalities that tied down the ministry from access and development of the steel sector," he said.

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