On Saturday, Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said during a visit to Natural Resources and Mines of Africa
The $1.5 billion steel plant in Kaduna State is nearing completion and will produce 1 million tons of steel annually, which will help end the country’s steel imports.
The steel plant is an investment by African Industries Group Inc.
We are interested in attracting various industries to Nigeria,” Ahmed said. This is because the lack of high-quality steel is one of the major obstacles to industrialization. So, with this project, we are now sure that we can attract the automotive industry from all over the world into Nigeria to produce cars in Nigeria for Nigerians as well as the region.”
Ahmed noted that the company will be the first to produce steel in Nigeria, which will be used in industry, helping the country to save foreign exchange while accelerating the industrialization process.
Alok Gupta, managing director of African Industries Group, revealed that the company will mine iron ore to produce reduced iron directly, which will allow the company to produce better quality steel more efficiently.
Gupta said: “In the long run, this investment will significantly increase domestic steel production. We will be able to produce more than 1 million tons per year. We are proud to be part of the coming steel revolution in Nigeria. With an investment of over $1.5 billion, we hope that the anticipated steel revolution will have a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy.”
In January 2020, Gupta announced that it was nearing completion of the first phase of construction of its African Natural Resources’ Kagarko mine, which is located in Nigeria and is scheduled to mine iron ore by the end of 2020. The Igbaja project, in which the company has a wholly owned stake, has iron ore reserves of 488 million tons. The project will generate more than 3,000 jobs and is expected to produce 5 million tons per year.
The Nigerian government had invested $6 billion in the construction of the Ajaokuta steel plant, which has been under construction since 1967 and has been stalled between 95 and 98 percent completion since 1994, but has yet to produce a single piece of steel.
Ajaokuta Steel had said in January that the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Russian Export Centre (Russian Export Centre) would provide the $1.5 billion needed to complete the project. The project is one of Russia’s largest industrial ventures, covering 24,000 hectares, but no significant progress has been reported since then.
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