The Federal Government is currently seeking for alternative ways to funding the completion of the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant and make it functional.
The Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel, Chief John Femi Jegede who disclosed this at Ajaokuta steel complex, kogi state during farmilarization tour of the steel plant, said the plant is crucial to the realization of president Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
Jegede explained that the Minister of Mines and Ministry are already sourcing for alternative ways of making fund available to fast track the completion of the remaining segments of the steel plant as it is the bedrock of the nation’s industrialization.
” What we mean by alternative funding is signing of Memorandum of understanding to complete the remaining part of the plant. currently we have signed MOU to complete some segments of it and those that are not working before are now functioning. More MOU will come into play and the plant will work. As soon as this report is submitted to the minister, action would be taken because the investment is huge and cannot be down played,Jegede stressed
He however commended the efforts of the steel workers in making the plant viable despite the long abandonment, calling on the management of the plant to come up with more MOU to revatilize the plant.
In his address, the Sole Administrator, Ajaokuta Steel Company, Mr. Joseph Isah stated the steel plant is viable to put the country on the part of industralization if completed and put to use.
According to him, the steel plant has signed Memorandum of understanding with various investors to put the completed segments into use, saying that with the recent audit on the mechanical state of the plant is satisfactory.
Isah added that with the MOU, they have been able to recovered the abandoned shipments of spares of Broliers for the plant thermal worth over 2.5 million dol la which was abandoned an the lagos port since 2004.
He also identified inadequate funding and infrastructure as the problem confronting the steel, appealing to the federal government to make the plant functioning as the desire of the country to become one of the most 20th development economy by 2020 depend on the completion and functioning of the steel plant.