2024 Budget: Nigerian Govt Pledges N4.45bn Allocation To Ajaokuta Steel, Seeks N35 Billion Financing For Revival

2024 Budget: Nigerian Govt Pledges N4.45bn Allocation To Ajaokuta Steel, Seeks N35 Billion Financing For Revival

8 months ago
1 min read

In a determined move to resuscitate the long-dormant Ajaokuta Steel Company, the Federal Government has earmarked N4.45 billion in the 2024 budget, demonstrating a noticeable increase from the previous year’s allocation of N3.71 billion.

This renewed allocation aims to address personnel costs, emphasizing a commitment to revitalize the moribund steel plant, which has remained inactive for over 42 years.

Speaking on the allocation, Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu, revealed plans to secure N35 billion from financial institutions to jumpstart the Light Steel Rod Mill within the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.

READ ALSO: 2024 Budget: Gov Makinde Presents N434.4bn, Education Gets Highest With 20.8%

During discussions with banking delegates from Stanbic IBTC, United Bank of Africa, and Voda Infrastructure Management Ltd, the minister outlined the urgency of funding to kickstart iron rod production, aligning with the government’s agenda for rejuvenation.

Audu stressed, “We have huge opportunities in Ajaokuta, and potentially a lot can be achieved,” highlighting collaborations with the Ministry of Works for rod offloading and the Ministry of Defence for a proposed military complex in the area.

Despite previous unsuccessful privatization and concession attempts, the government persists in its quest to revitalize the steel company.

Notably, an Indian company’s 10-year concession was revoked due to allegations of asset stripping, resulting in a legal battle that culminated in a $496 million pay-out by the Federal Government to an Indian-Nigerian entity.

Undeterred by past setbacks, the government remains steadfast in its commitment to resuscitate Ajaokuta Steel, as echoed by Audu: “The Ministry plans to revive Ajaokuta in phases… to achieve the Present Administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.”

The proposed allocations in the 2024 budget and ongoing negotiations with financial institutions signify a renewed vigour in the government’s ambition to breathe life back into the Ajaokuta Steel Company, aiming for a sustainable revival of the Nigerian steel sector.

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.


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