FG sets March 2022 target for Ajaokuta audit | Dailytrust

FG sets March 2022 target for Ajaokuta audit

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite

Barring any unforeseen development, the planned technical audit of Ajaokuta Steel Company would be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed this during a webinar organised by the Lagos Business School (LBS).

Adegbite, who gave an insight into the move to resuscitate the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company, said the Russians had agreed to conduct the technical audit, saying they are being expected in the country by January next year.

The minister explained that the audit would have started in March 2020 as agreed by the Russian technical partners, but it was stalled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19.

He said, “When we came to office in 2019, shortly after that there was a Russian-African summit which we went and on the sideline of the summit, we had a bilateral agreement with the Russian government and we begged President Vladimir Putin for Russians to help in resuscitating Ajaokuta.

“Don’t forget that Ajaokuta was built by the Soviet Union (the former USSR), now we asked the Russians to come and help us, and they agreed. They nominated a company to come and do the technical audit. This was supposed to start in March of 2020. We were there in October. We were prepared, they were to bring in 60 experts from Russia and then 100 experts from Nigeria, making 160.

This job would take 90 days and they would give us a document that would tell us the state of Ajaokuta, what needed to be done, what needed to be retained.”

He said the document would be given to the investors to kick-start Ajaokuta.

He lamented that the plan was stalled due to COVID-19.

The Minister however expressed optimism that as soon as the audit is completed, investors are already waiting to take over the running and operation of the company.

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