Business Hilights
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Turn to Russia if you want to revive Ajaokuta Steel complex, protesters tell FG

Just as the Minister of Solid minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has disclosed that the federal government is shopping for whooping $2bn to revive the dead Ajaokuta Steel mill; protesters have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to cancel every deal sealed with an Indian group.

To achieve this, they proposed a presidential bilateral talk with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, arguing that it was better to relate with the builders of the complex rather than initiate a new romance with China or Indians on the steel complex.

Business Hilights recalls that since the construction of the complex in 1979, it was not even inaugurated not to talk of producing five million metric tonnes of steel per annum according to the installed capacity till date.

Our correspondent gathered that under the privatisation programme of the Federal Government few years ago, the Ajaokuta Steel Complex was given out on concession to an Indian firm, Global Steel Holdings Limited, for $300m.

But rising from alleged asset stripping by the Indian firm, the concession was cancelled by the late President Umar Yar’Adua on April 1, 2008. Consequently, the GSHL approached the International Court of Arbitration for arbitration against the Federal Government.

But the present administration secured an out of court settlement that saw GSHL withdrawing its suit, while the government conceded to it the right to operate the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe, an iron ore feeder plant to Ajaokuta.

Though some analysts say the said $2bn for the revival may be part of the $30bn loan being sought by the apex government.

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