The federal government (FG) has agreed to partner with a Chinese Company, Luan Steel Holding Group, to build a new Steel Plant in Nigeria.
The partnership hopes to also commence the building of military hardware in the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, Mrs Salamatu Jubaniya, the Head Press and Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Steel Development, said in a statement.
She said this formed the crux of the visit by a delegation of the Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Audu, Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Mary Ogbe in their tour of Luan Steel Holding Group in Hefei and Guangzhou Regions of China.
Jibaniya said Prince Audu stated that the trip to China is one of the steps being taken to realise the goals of reviving the Steel Industry in Nigeria in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
She said, according to Prince Audu, work has commenced to create an operational Steel Industry that would attract billions of dollars of foreign direct investments into the country, open up the nation’s economy, and create hundreds of thousands of job opportunities, which form the core of the renewed hope agenda.
He further noted that building Military hardware in the Ajaokuta Steel Plant is also timely, considering that Nigeria is faced with security challenges. Adding that this would help in the fight against insecurity and terrorism.
“We had very meaningful discussions 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.
“Like several other international and local investors, Luan Steel Holding Group has indicated interest in setting up a new Steel Plant in Nigeria, as well as handling a component of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for building military hardware in Nigeria.
“The Minister of Defence and I led this delegation, which includes the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Dr Mary Ogbe, Sole Administrator/Managing Director of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Mr Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, to enable us to have a first-hand look at the Luan steel plants before arriving at a decision.
“With all the commitments on the ground, we are optimistic that before the end of President Tinubu’s administration, we will commence commercial Steel Production in some of the government-owned entities in Nigeria,” she said.