President Bola Tinubu has approved the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee on the execution of three steel development projects, including the revival of the Ajaokuta Steel mill.

Minister of Steel Development, Shauibu Audu, disclosed this to journalists at the State House, Abuja, after he and the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, met with President Tinubu at the State House on Thursday.

Members of the committee include the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, the Minister of Defence, Muhammadu Badaru and the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu.

The President emphasized that a revitalized steel development industry is both a catalyst for robust economic growth and a doorway to immense opportunities for Nigeria’s massive pool of talented entrepreneurs.

“We will remain unyielding in our determination to build a Nigeria where every citizen has an equal opportunity to prosper and achieve their dreams.

“New investments in steel production will spur the growth of so many sectors. Industrialization will be a reality in our country with sufficient energy and steel. Nigerian steel will undergird our economy and other economies in our region in future years.

“I am glad that members of my cabinet have adopted my approach to attracting new investments and job opportunities for our people. Hard work is the only true pathway. We will not relent,” he said.The ministers informed the President of their discussions with a Chinese company, Luan Steel Holding Group, to build a new steel plant in Nigeria, as well as to commence the production of military hardware in Ajaokuta Steel Plant.

A delegation led by the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Steel Development had visited Hefei and Guangzhou regions of China to hold business talks with the Chairman of Luan Steel Holding Group, Mr Wang Jianbing; the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr Xiao Weizhan, and other senior executives of the Luan Steel Holding Group.The Chinese company is expected to invest billions of dollars in Nigeria to build the new steel plant.

The Minister of Steel Development briefed the President, following his approval to restart the Light Steel Mill (LSM) section of Ajaokuta Steel Complex for the production of iron rods, on the progress made on restarting the section, which will cost N35 billion at the first stage.The minister said several financial institutions had already provided offer letters for this transaction and that the project is expected to create up to 5,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.The Minister of Steel Development also informed the President of discussions with the representatives of Jindal Steel Group of India.

Jindal Steel Group had indicated interest in investing up to $5 billion in a new steel plant in Nigeria on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in New Delhi, India, in September, 2023, and is now considering to either acquire existing plants or set up greenfield plants.

According to the minister, upon the completion of these deals, about $10 billion worth of new investments in both new and existing steel plants in Nigeria will be established, which will create over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs in the steel industry in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda for massive job creation through industrialisation.

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