The Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd., in Kogi State, has entered into partnership with a consortium of investors to reactivate and operate completed units of the steel plant.
Its Sole Administrator, Mr Joseph Isah, told the visiting executive members of the Kogi State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) that the project was 98 per cent completed, advising Nigerians not to canvass for its sale “at scrap value”.
He said some of the completed units of the steel plant could be reactivated and operated commercially.
“As an integrated steel plant with series of completed units, some of which can be operated commercially, we are currently going into partnerships with a number of investors to reactivate them.
“Such completed units include the engineering works, light section mill, wire rod mill, thermal power plant and the Metallurgical Training Centre (MTC) among others.’’
He said that the company had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Messrs Reprome Nigeria Ltd. for sourcing of spares and technical assistance.
The administrator said that the company had also signed another MOU with the Industrial Training Fund for training and manpower development.
According to him, this is in line with the National Industrial Skill Development Programme of the Federal Government to train 1000 trainees in each state.
Isah, who described company as the “bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialisation,” attributed its woes to Western conspiracy and indigenous collusion.
He said some leaders in government were ignorant of the potential of the company, urging journalists to give the steel company the needed publicity.
Earlier, the NUJ Chairman, Mallam Ali Atabor, said that people generally believed that the company had failed, adding that the visit of the NUJ members had proved the contrary.
The chairman urged Nigerian leaders not to succumb to western propaganda to stifle the country’s industrialisation, advising the leaders to take the completion of the steel project seriously.
Atabor urged the management to revive the MTC for the training of manpower.
He hailed the vision and focus of the company’s leadership to turn it around.