Though the minister was very economical with words on the current status of the crisis and reconciliation efforts of the federal government on the moribund Ajaokuta and Delta Steel mills, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment has disclosed government’s interest in the establishment of a 327,000-tonne iron and steel plan.
This he said was part of its plan to diversify the economy away from oil.
Enelamah, made the revelation during a facility tour of Standard Metallurgical Company Limited in Sagamu, Ogun State, where the plant is being built.
Giving more insights, he said “I like the ambition of this company. This is at the heart of industrialisation and we will be supporting you”.
Earlier the managing director of the group, Mohammad Saade, revealed that his company would commence full backward integration in which iron ore and coal would be sourced locally in line with its multi-phase investment in the country
According to him, the second phase of the project was part of the drive to promote and export made-in-Nigeria products.
While hinting that the metal and steel melt shop will be inaugurated in the next three months, using heavy scrap and metal as raw materials, Saade said “We have a huge investment in steel in Nigeria. It is a unique type of factory. We are going to produce more in phase two. This will be the first factory to produce billets suitable for wire rods.”
Efforts to get the views of the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi for further confirmation on the emerging new deal in his ministry failed at press time.