Ajaokuta Steel plant: Catalyst for Nigeria’s real sector growth

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The recent appointment of Engr Joe Isah as the Sole Administrator of the Federal Government-owned Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd (ASCL) aptly demonstrates the government’s determination for the completion and commercial operation of the steel complex. On Sunday 2nd December, 2012 I was physically present at Ajaokuta, Kogi State and interviewed a cross-section of ASCL workers. Almost all of them said they were very happy for the appointment of Engr. Isah and urged the Federal Government to further show the political will to complete the project by making capital vote provision in the year 2013 budget or provide an intervention fund for the completion of the plant as well as commercial operation of some of the completed sections.
Of course, the history of industrialized nations of the world is the history of steel development. As such, a nation that overlooks steel development does so at her own industrialization peril, thus making her a consumer nation and a dumping ground for developed economies of the world. It is an incontestable fact that the development of the steel sector will be a sound strategy to reposition the nation’s real sector growth. This realization by Nigerian policy-makers prompted them to develop an indigenous steel industry. Hence, the birth of ASCL, considered the largest steel complex in Sub-Saharan Africa. Perhaps, we may at this juncture go down memory lane about the history of ASCL.
The Global contract for the execution of the steel project was signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Messrs Tyajzhpromexport (TPE) of the defunct USSR on July 13, 1979. The contract covers the preparation of working drawings, supply of all technological equipment, structures and materials, the execution of erection works and the training of personnel. On the other hand, the civil works for the Plant were awarded to three civil engineering firms of international repute, namely, Bilfinger + Berger (b+B), Fougerolle – Fougerolle Nigeria (FFN) and Dumez Nig. Ltd.
As an integrated Steel Plant, ASCL was designed to produce 1.3 tonnes annually of cast steel in the first stage, with immediate expansion to 2.6 million tones annually and thereafter to 5.2 million tonnes annually. The technology chosen for the Plant was the Blast Furnace – Basic Oxygen Furnace process (BF-BOF) to produce liquid steel using raw materials such as iron ore, coking coal, limestone, scraps, bauxite, dolomite, refractory clay and manganese ore.
There are three Rolling Mills within the Plant designed to produce saleable billets, beams, channels, angles, broad flanges, rounds, hexagonals, strips, wire rods and reinforcement rods. The production of flat steel was incorporated into the second phase.
The expected by-products of Ajaokuta Steel Plant are dehydrated tar, ammonium sulphate, fertilizer, benzene, toluene, xyelene, naphtha, etc. In addition to the main products and by-products, the Steel Complex has a captive Thermal Power Plant (TPP), which has the capacity of producing 110MW of electric power. In fact, it is on record that the TPP had been supplying electricity to the national grid.
ASCL also boasts of an Engineering Complex comprising of 8 Shops, namely Foundry & Pattern Making, Forge & Fabrication, Machine & Tools, Power Equipment Repair, Rubberizing, Lubricant Reclamation, Electroplating, and Express Laboratory.
The Ajaokuta Steel Project was initially scheduled for completion in 1986. While the Wire Rod Mill (WRM), the Light Section Mill (LSM) and some sections of the Plant were completed on schedule, the whole Steel Plant could not be completed as envisaged. A combination of factors including funding constraints, which caused delay in the civil works, was responsible for the inability to meet the completion date of 1986. Consequently, it was the regime of Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) who, in 1986 signed a new protocol agreement on the Steel Project with the same TPE that won the initial contract. The agreement rescheduled its completion date to 1989. Unfortunately, this new completion date could not be met.
Since 1986, the story of ASCL had been that of one step forward, two steps backward as successive governments had not demonstrated the political will to complete the project, which was alleged to be 98% technically completed. And in an effort to find solution to the impasse, governments entered into several agreements with different companies to no avail. These agreements ranged from protocol agreement, joint-venture, and concession to outright privatization.
Sadly, since the last concessionaire’s exit early 2008, ASCL has remained comatose, with staff salaries remaining unpaid for several months until late 2008 when only 6 out of 9 month arrears were paid.
Experts posit that, had ASCL been completed as originally scheduled, Nigerian industries would have by now been approaching a good level of capacity utilization and growth, sustaining viable dependent industries, creating jobs for citizens while enthroning a culture of technology acquisition and development. Thus, the benefits of a functioning ASCL to the Nigerian economy are legions. Indeed, Ajaokuta Steel Plant has a strategic role to play in the industrialization of Nigeria. Certainly, the nation is on the verge of industrial greatness because of the potentials of ASCL. The economic well-being of Nigeria could be further enhanced if there is the political will to make ASCL become operational.
It has been empirically proved that outputs of a major integrated Steel Plant like ASCL can be used as the input materials of the various techno-economically viable units to usher the much needed industrialization. There abound a lot of potentials for a number of down-stream and spin-off industrial units using ASCL products. Conversely, many of the inputs needed by ASCL could also be manufactured by small-scale and medium-scale industries.
Moreover, the Plant’s Engineering Complex could handle heavy engineering works as demonstrated by the jobs done for NNPC and NEPA among other clients of the Complex.
In the light of the foregoing analysis about ASCL potentials, the 2008 Steel Summit held in Lagos by the stakeholders leading to far-reaching recommendations was a welcome development. In the communiqué issued at the Steel Summit, which was declared open by the then Honourable Minister of Mines & Steel Development, the Federal Government was advised to invite the original contractor that designed the Steel Plant, that is, Messrs TPE, to first take a technical audit of the Plant and complete it. Government was also enjoined to put in place, infrastructural facilities like railways, dredging of River Niger, etc to make the Steel Plant function effectively, efficiently and profitably.
The summit also recommended that, Government should operate the Steel Plant when completed for at least 24 months before inviting the private sector for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the operation of the Steel Plant.
The Federal Government should implement the recommendations as contained in the communiqué issued by the stakeholders at the Steel Summit. The Ajaokuta Steel Plant represents an ambitious and highly commendable effort by the Federal Government in Nigeria’s quest for indigenous steel production. ASCL must, therefore, be prioritized by the government, which will see to the early completion of this gigantic project. I, therefore, urge the Federal Government and the National Assembly to make capital provision in the 2013 budget for ASCL.
On a final note, government will do well by taking heed to the highly inspirational words penned down by IBB in ASCL’s Visitor’s Notebook when he paid an official visit to the Plant on 28/11/85. In his own words: “We had a most educative and instructive visit. The completion of this project is A MUST to the industrial take-off of this nation. It must be supported.” Definitely, ASCL must be supported by all right-thinking Nigerians.
Obaka, an Economist is based in Abuja.08032061373-sms onlyThe recent appointment of Engr Joe Isah as the Sole Administrator of the Federal Government-owned Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd (ASCL) aptly demonstrates the government’s determination for the completion and commercial operation of the steel complex. On Sunday 2nd December, 2012 I was physically present at Ajaokuta, Kogi State and interviewed a cross-section of ASCL workers. Almost all of them said they were very happy for the appointment of Engr. Isah and urged the Federal Government to further show the political will to complete the project by making capital vote provision in the year 2013 budget or provide an intervention fund for the completion of the plant as well as commercial operation of some of the completed sections.
Of course, the history of industrialized nations of the world is the history of steel development. As such, a nation that overlooks steel development does so at her own industrialization peril, thus making her a consumer nation and a dumping ground for developed economies of the world. It is an incontestable fact that the development of the steel sector will be a sound strategy to reposition the nation’s real sector growth. This realization by Nigerian policy-makers prompted them to develop an indigenous steel industry. Hence, the birth of ASCL, considered the largest steel complex in Sub-Saharan Africa. Perhaps, we may at this juncture go down memory lane about the history of ASCL.
The Global contract for the execution of the steel project was signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Messrs Tyajzhpromexport (TPE) of the defunct USSR on July 13, 1979. The contract covers the preparation of working drawings, supply of all technological equipment, structures and materials, the execution of erection works and the training of personnel. On the other hand, the civil works for the Plant were awarded to three civil engineering firms of international repute, namely, Bilfinger + Berger (b+B), Fougerolle – Fougerolle Nigeria (FFN) and Dumez Nig. Ltd.
As an integrated Steel Plant, ASCL was designed to produce 1.3 tonnes annually of cast steel in the first stage, with immediate expansion to 2.6 million tones annually and thereafter to 5.2 million tonnes annually. The technology chosen for the Plant was the Blast Furnace – Basic Oxygen Furnace process (BF-BOF) to produce liquid steel using raw materials such as iron ore, coking coal, limestone, scraps, bauxite, dolomite, refractory clay and manganese ore.
There are three Rolling Mills within the Plant designed to produce saleable billets, beams, channels, angles, broad flanges, rounds, hexagonals, strips, wire rods and reinforcement rods. The production of flat steel was incorporated into the second phase.
The expected by-products of Ajaokuta Steel Plant are dehydrated tar, ammonium sulphate, fertilizer, benzene, toluene, xyelene, naphtha, etc. In addition to the main products and by-products, the Steel Complex has a captive Thermal Power Plant (TPP), which has the capacity of producing 110MW of electric power. In fact, it is on record that the TPP had been supplying electricity to the national grid.
ASCL also boasts of an Engineering Complex comprising of 8 Shops, namely Foundry & Pattern Making, Forge & Fabrication, Machine & Tools, Power Equipment Repair, Rubberizing, Lubricant Reclamation, Electroplating, and Express Laboratory.
The Ajaokuta Steel Project was initially scheduled for completion in 1986. While the Wire Rod Mill (WRM), the Light Section Mill (LSM) and some sections of the Plant were completed on schedule, the whole Steel Plant could not be completed as envisaged. A combination of factors including funding constraints, which caused delay in the civil works, was responsible for the inability to meet the completion date of 1986. Consequently, it was the regime of Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) who, in 1986 signed a new protocol agreement on the Steel Project with the same TPE that won the initial contract. The agreement rescheduled its completion date to 1989. Unfortunately, this new completion date could not be met.
Since 1986, the story of ASCL had been that of one step forward, two steps backward as successive governments had not demonstrated the political will to complete the project, which was alleged to be 98% technically completed. And in an effort to find solution to the impasse, governments entered into several agreements with different companies to no avail. These agreements ranged from protocol agreement, joint-venture, and concession to outright privatization.
Sadly, since the last concessionaire’s exit early 2008, ASCL has remained comatose, with staff salaries remaining unpaid for several months until late 2008 when only 6 out of 9 month arrears were paid.
Experts posit that, had ASCL been completed as originally scheduled, Nigerian industries would have by now been approaching a good level of capacity utilization and growth, sustaining viable dependent industries, creating jobs for citizens while enthroning a culture of technology acquisition and development. Thus, the benefits of a functioning ASCL to the Nigerian economy are legions. Indeed, Ajaokuta Steel Plant has a strategic role to play in the industrialization of Nigeria. Certainly, the nation is on the verge of industrial greatness because of the potentials of ASCL. The economic well-being of Nigeria could be further enhanced if there is the political will to make ASCL become operational.
It has been empirically proved that outputs of a major integrated Steel Plant like ASCL can be used as the input materials of the various techno-economically viable units to usher the much needed industrialization. There abound a lot of potentials for a number of down-stream and spin-off industrial units using ASCL products. Conversely, many of the inputs needed by ASCL could also be manufactured by small-scale and medium-scale industries.
Moreover, the Plant’s Engineering Complex could handle heavy engineering works as demonstrated by the jobs done for NNPC and NEPA among other clients of the Complex.
In the light of the foregoing analysis about ASCL potentials, the 2008 Steel Summit held in Lagos by the stakeholders leading to far-reaching recommendations was a welcome development. In the communiqué issued at the Steel Summit, which was declared open by the then Honourable Minister of Mines & Steel Development, the Federal Government was advised to invite the original contractor that designed the Steel Plant, that is, Messrs TPE, to first take a technical audit of the Plant and complete it. Government was also enjoined to put in place, infrastructural facilities like railways, dredging of River Niger, etc to make the Steel Plant function effectively, efficiently and profitably.
The summit also recommended that, Government should operate the Steel Plant when completed for at least 24 months before inviting the private sector for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the operation of the Steel Plant.
The Federal Government should implement the recommendations as contained in the communiqué issued by the stakeholders at the Steel Summit. The Ajaokuta Steel Plant represents an ambitious and highly commendable effort by the Federal Government in Nigeria’s quest for indigenous steel production. ASCL must, therefore, be prioritized by the government, which will see to the early completion of this gigantic project. I, therefore, urge the Federal Government and the National Assembly to make capital provision in the 2013 budget for ASCL.
On a final note, government will do well by taking heed to the highly inspirational words penned down by IBB in ASCL’s Visitor’s Notebook when he paid an official visit to the Plant on 28/11/85. In his own words: “We had a most educative and instructive visit. The completion of this project is A MUST to the industrial take-off of this nation. It must be supported.” Definitely, ASCL must be supported by all right-thinking Nigerians.
Obaka, an Economist is based in Abuja.08032061373-sms only

The recent appointment of Engr Joe Isah as the Sole Administrator of the Federal Government-owned Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd (ASCL) aptly demonstrates the government’s determination for the completion and commercial operation of the steel complex. On Sunday 2nd December, 2012 I was physically present at Ajaokuta, Kogi State and interviewed a cross-section of ASCL workers. Almost all of them said they were very happy for the appointment of Engr. Isah and urged the Federal Government to further show the political will to complete the project by making capital vote provision in the year 2013 budget or provide an intervention fund for the completion of the plant as well as commercial operation of some of the completed sections.
Of course, the history of industrialized nations of the world is the history of steel development. As such, a nation that overlooks steel development does so at her own industrialization peril, thus making her a consumer nation and a dumping ground for developed economies of the world. It is an incontestable fact that the development of the steel sector will be a sound strategy to reposition the nation’s real sector growth. This realization by Nigerian policy-makers prompted them to develop an indigenous steel industry. Hence, the birth of ASCL, considered the largest steel complex in Sub-Saharan Africa. Perhaps, we may at this juncture go down memory lane about the history of ASCL.
The Global contract for the execution of the steel project was signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Messrs Tyajzhpromexport (TPE) of the defunct USSR on July 13, 1979. The contract covers the preparation of working drawings, supply of all technological equipment, structures and materials, the execution of erection works and the training of personnel. On the other hand, the civil works for the Plant were awarded to three civil engineering firms of international repute, namely, Bilfinger + Berger (b+B), Fougerolle – Fougerolle Nigeria (FFN) and Dumez Nig. Ltd.
As an integrated Steel Plant, ASCL was designed to produce 1.3 tonnes annually of cast steel in the first stage, with immediate expansion to 2.6 million tones annually and thereafter to 5.2 million tonnes annually. The technology chosen for the Plant was the Blast Furnace – Basic Oxygen Furnace process (BF-BOF) to produce liquid steel using raw materials such as iron ore, coking coal, limestone, scraps, bauxite, dolomite, refractory clay and manganese ore.
There are three Rolling Mills within the Plant designed to produce saleable billets, beams, channels, angles, broad flanges, rounds, hexagonals, strips, wire rods and reinforcement rods. The production of flat steel was incorporated into the second phase.
The expected by-products of Ajaokuta Steel Plant are dehydrated tar, ammonium sulphate, fertilizer, benzene, toluene, xyelene, naphtha, etc. In addition to the main products and by-products, the Steel Complex has a captive Thermal Power Plant (TPP), which has the capacity of producing 110MW of electric power. In fact, it is on record that the TPP had been supplying electricity to the national grid.
ASCL also boasts of an Engineering Complex comprising of 8 Shops, namely Foundry & Pattern Making, Forge & Fabrication, Machine & Tools, Power Equipment Repair, Rubberizing, Lubricant Reclamation, Electroplating, and Express Laboratory.
The Ajaokuta Steel Project was initially scheduled for completion in 1986. While the Wire Rod Mill (WRM), the Light Section Mill (LSM) and some sections of the Plant were completed on schedule, the whole Steel Plant could not be completed as envisaged. A combination of factors including funding constraints, which caused delay in the civil works, was responsible for the inability to meet the completion date of 1986. Consequently, it was the regime of Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) who, in 1986 signed a new protocol agreement on the Steel Project with the same TPE that won the initial contract. The agreement rescheduled its completion date to 1989. Unfortunately, this new completion date could not be met.
Since 1986, the story of ASCL had been that of one step forward, two steps backward as successive governments had not demonstrated the political will to complete the project, which was alleged to be 98% technically completed. And in an effort to find solution to the impasse, governments entered into several agreements with different companies to no avail. These agreements ranged from protocol agreement, joint-venture, and concession to outright privatization.
Sadly, since the last concessionaire’s exit early 2008, ASCL has remained comatose, with staff salaries remaining unpaid for several months until late 2008 when only 6 out of 9 month arrears were paid.
Experts posit that, had ASCL been completed as originally scheduled, Nigerian industries would have by now been approaching a good level of capacity utilization and growth, sustaining viable dependent industries, creating jobs for citizens while enthroning a culture of technology acquisition and development. Thus, the benefits of a functioning ASCL to the Nigerian economy are legions. Indeed, Ajaokuta Steel Plant has a strategic role to play in the industrialization of Nigeria. Certainly, the nation is on the verge of industrial greatness because of the potentials of ASCL. The economic well-being of Nigeria could be further enhanced if there is the political will to make ASCL become operational.
It has been empirically proved that outputs of a major integrated Steel Plant like ASCL can be used as the input materials of the various techno-economically viable units to usher the much needed industrialization. There abound a lot of potentials for a number of down-stream and spin-off industrial units using ASCL products. Conversely, many of the inputs needed by ASCL could also be manufactured by small-scale and medium-scale industries.
Moreover, the Plant’s Engineering Complex could handle heavy engineering works as demonstrated by the jobs done for NNPC and NEPA among other clients of the Complex.
In the light of the foregoing analysis about ASCL potentials, the 2008 Steel Summit held in Lagos by the stakeholders leading to far-reaching recommendations was a welcome development. In the communiqué issued at the Steel Summit, which was declared open by the then Honourable Minister of Mines & Steel Development, the Federal Government was advised to invite the original contractor that designed the Steel Plant, that is, Messrs TPE, to first take a technical audit of the Plant and complete it. Government was also enjoined to put in place, infrastructural facilities like railways, dredging of River Niger, etc to make the Steel Plant function effectively, efficiently and profitably.
The summit also recommended that, Government should operate the Steel Plant when completed for at least 24 months before inviting the private sector for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the operation of the Steel Plant.
The Federal Government should implement the recommendations as contained in the communiqué issued by the stakeholders at the Steel Summit. The Ajaokuta Steel Plant represents an ambitious and highly commendable effort by the Federal Government in Nigeria’s quest for indigenous steel production. ASCL must, therefore, be prioritized by the government, which will see to the early completion of this gigantic project. I, therefore, urge the Federal Government and the National Assembly to make capital provision in the 2013 budget for ASCL.
On a final note, government will do well by taking heed to the highly inspirational words penned down by IBB in ASCL’s Visitor’s Notebook when he paid an official visit to the Plant on 28/11/85. In his own words: “We had a most educative and instructive visit. The completion of this project is A MUST to the industrial take-off of this nation. It must be supported.” Definitely, ASCL must be supported by all right-thinking Nigerians.
Obaka, an Economist is based in Abuja.08032061373-sms onlyThe recent appointment of Engr Joe Isah as the Sole Administrator of the Federal Government-owned Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd (ASCL) aptly demonstrates the government’s determination for the completion and commercial operation of the steel complex. On Sunday 2nd December, 2012 I was physically present at Ajaokuta, Kogi State and interviewed a cross-section of ASCL workers. Almost all of them said they were very happy for the appointment of Engr. Isah and urged the Federal Government to further show the political will to complete the project by making capital vote provision in the year 2013 budget or provide an intervention fund for the completion of the plant as well as commercial operation of some of the completed sections.
Of course, the history of industrialized nations of the world is the history of steel development. As such, a nation that overlooks steel development does so at her own industrialization peril, thus making her a consumer nation and a dumping ground for developed economies of the world. It is an incontestable fact that the development of the steel sector will be a sound strategy to reposition the nation’s real sector growth. This realization by Nigerian policy-makers prompted them to develop an indigenous steel industry. Hence, the birth of ASCL, considered the largest steel complex in Sub-Saharan Africa. Perhaps, we may at this juncture go down memory lane about the history of ASCL.
The Global contract for the execution of the steel project was signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Messrs Tyajzhpromexport (TPE) of the defunct USSR on July 13, 1979. The contract covers the preparation of working drawings, supply of all technological equipment, structures and materials, the execution of erection works and the training of personnel. On the other hand, the civil works for the Plant were awarded to three civil engineering firms of international repute, namely, Bilfinger + Berger (b+B), Fougerolle – Fougerolle Nigeria (FFN) and Dumez Nig. Ltd.
As an integrated Steel Plant, ASCL was designed to produce 1.3 tonnes annually of cast steel in the first stage, with immediate expansion to 2.6 million tones annually and thereafter to 5.2 million tonnes annually. The technology chosen for the Plant was the Blast Furnace – Basic Oxygen Furnace process (BF-BOF) to produce liquid steel using raw materials such as iron ore, coking coal, limestone, scraps, bauxite, dolomite, refractory clay and manganese ore.
There are three Rolling Mills within the Plant designed to produce saleable billets, beams, channels, angles, broad flanges, rounds, hexagonals, strips, wire rods and reinforcement rods. The production of flat steel was incorporated into the second phase.
The expected by-products of Ajaokuta Steel Plant are dehydrated tar, ammonium sulphate, fertilizer, benzene, toluene, xyelene, naphtha, etc. In addition to the main products and by-products, the Steel Complex has a captive Thermal Power Plant (TPP), which has the capacity of producing 110MW of electric power. In fact, it is on record that the TPP had been supplying electricity to the national grid.
ASCL also boasts of an Engineering Complex comprising of 8 Shops, namely Foundry & Pattern Making, Forge & Fabrication, Machine & Tools, Power Equipment Repair, Rubberizing, Lubricant Reclamation, Electroplating, and Express Laboratory.
The Ajaokuta Steel Project was initially scheduled for completion in 1986. While the Wire Rod Mill (WRM), the Light Section Mill (LSM) and some sections of the Plant were completed on schedule, the whole Steel Plant could not be completed as envisaged. A combination of factors including funding constraints, which caused delay in the civil works, was responsible for the inability to meet the completion date of 1986. Consequently, it was the regime of Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) who, in 1986 signed a new protocol agreement on the Steel Project with the same TPE that won the initial contract. The agreement rescheduled its completion date to 1989. Unfortunately, this new completion date could not be met.
Since 1986, the story of ASCL had been that of one step forward, two steps backward as successive governments had not demonstrated the political will to complete the project, which was alleged to be 98% technically completed. And in an effort to find solution to the impasse, governments entered into several agreements with different companies to no avail. These agreements ranged from protocol agreement, joint-venture, and concession to outright privatization.
Sadly, since the last concessionaire’s exit early 2008, ASCL has remained comatose, with staff salaries remaining unpaid for several months until late 2008 when only 6 out of 9 month arrears were paid.
Experts posit that, had ASCL been completed as originally scheduled, Nigerian industries would have by now been approaching a good level of capacity utilization and growth, sustaining viable dependent industries, creating jobs for citizens while enthroning a culture of technology acquisition and development. Thus, the benefits of a functioning ASCL to the Nigerian economy are legions. Indeed, Ajaokuta Steel Plant has a strategic role to play in the industrialization of Nigeria. Certainly, the nation is on the verge of industrial greatness because of the potentials of ASCL. The economic well-being of Nigeria could be further enhanced if there is the political will to make ASCL become operational.
It has been empirically proved that outputs of a major integrated Steel Plant like ASCL can be used as the input materials of the various techno-economically viable units to usher the much needed industrialization. There abound a lot of potentials for a number of down-stream and spin-off industrial units using ASCL products. Conversely, many of the inputs needed by ASCL could also be manufactured by small-scale and medium-scale industries.
Moreover, the Plant’s Engineering Complex could handle heavy engineering works as demonstrated by the jobs done for NNPC and NEPA among other clients of the Complex.
In the light of the foregoing analysis about ASCL potentials, the 2008 Steel Summit held in Lagos by the stakeholders leading to far-reaching recommendations was a welcome development. In the communiqué issued at the Steel Summit, which was declared open by the then Honourable Minister of Mines & Steel Development, the Federal Government was advised to invite the original contractor that designed the Steel Plant, that is, Messrs TPE, to first take a technical audit of the Plant and complete it. Government was also enjoined to put in place, infrastructural facilities like railways, dredging of River Niger, etc to make the Steel Plant function effectively, efficiently and profitably.
The summit also recommended that, Government should operate the Steel Plant when completed for at least 24 months before inviting the private sector for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the operation of the Steel Plant.
The Federal Government should implement the recommendations as contained in the communiqué issued by the stakeholders at the Steel Summit. The Ajaokuta Steel Plant represents an ambitious and highly commendable effort by the Federal Government in Nigeria’s quest for indigenous steel production. ASCL must, therefore, be prioritized by the government, which will see to the early completion of this gigantic project. I, therefore, urge the Federal Government and the National Assembly to make capital provision in the 2013 budget for ASCL.
On a final note, government will do well by taking heed to the highly inspirational words penned down by IBB in ASCL’s Visitor’s Notebook when he paid an official visit to the Plant on 28/11/85. In his own words: “We had a most educative and instructive visit. The completion of this project is A MUST to the industrial take-off of this nation. It must be supported.” Definitely, ASCL must be supported by all right-thinking Nigerians.
Obaka, an Economist is based in Abuja.08032061373-sms only

Experts posit that, had ASCL been completed as originally scheduled, Nigerian industries would have by now been approaching a good level of capacity utilization and growth, sustaining viable dependent industries, creating jobs for citizens while enthroning a culture of technology acquisition and development.

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