By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The Sole Administrator, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, Engr. Isah Joseph Onobere has said Nigeria Imports N6 trillion worth of steel annually.
This is even as he stated that the injection of $400million is the chief feature needed to complete the plant abandoned over twenty three years ago.
The Sole Administrator stated this in his statement to participants at the 3-Day Media Training Workshop for Journalists designated to cover the Steel and Mining Sector who were on an assessment tour of the Complex in Ajaokuta, Kogi State on Friday.
According to Onobere, ‘‘the Vision 20:2020 economic blue print document even goes beyond the Rolling Plan, to envisage the actualization of the third phase of the project-5.2 million tonnes/annum of liquid steel production.
“The plan takes into cognizance, the technical audits of the Plan conducted by two reputable international firms in 2000 and 2010, Messr TPE (original builders of the Plant) and Messrs REPROM respectively” he said
The Steel Boss stated that “Based on the TPE audit, a work schedule spanning 24 months duration and involving the injection of about USD400million is the chief feature of the Rolling plant.
He noted that since 1994 when the federal government owner of the plant stopped funding the completion of the project, the plant was at 98% completion status. The Rolling Plant , for the third decade running, remains tailored towards the reactivation, completion and commissioning of the first three phases of the project of 1.3 million tonnes/annum of liquid steel production.
The Sole administrator however stated that the project has had a chequered history occasioned by an interplay of forces that has made the integrated commissioning of the steel plant elusive till date He maintained that there is so much misconception and misinformation this process route and our steel plant. This is borne largely out of ignorance and some orchestrated campaign calumny against the Nigerian state aimed at ensuring that we remain perpetually, a dumping ground for steel products from the developed nations.