Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has given the order for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Adegbite disclosed this in Abuja during an interactive session with journalists, on the proposed Nigeria solid minerals downstream workshop, scheduled to hold on December 2, 2019.
“For the past three months, we have been doing everything possible to ensure we make progress and we are happy to let the nation know that the president has given us full backing in this assignment.
“The support given by the president include political backing to ensure that Ajaokuta works and by the grace of God it will work soon,” he said.
The minister also said part of the directives by Buhari was for the sector to solve the decade-long problems bedeviling the solid minerals sector, and to ensure that the country could rely on the sector to diversify its economy.
He said after articulating the problems for the past three months, the administration was on the path to harnessing the potential that are abound in the sector for the benefit of the people in the country.
Adegbite explained that one of the steps taken was the current process of developing the Nigerian Downstream Mineral Policy, which according to him, is the first of its kind in the history of the country.
“The downstream mineral policy will trigger the nation with a clear diversification blue print in a sustainable manner, especially for the revamping of Ajaokuta steel company.
“And also effective harnessing of the abundant minerals endowment spread across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“As part of the process leading to the revamping of the entire solid minerals sector, we are sensitising key stakeholders, especially large investors of this novel initiative for the development of solid mineral downstream value chains.
“This will help to create massive jobs, wealth and industrialisation,” he added.
Adegbite further said the ministry was determined and committed to ensuring that the president’s mandate was realised within the next three years.
The minister pledged to open the sector to genuine, indigenous and foreign investors, to actively participate in the downstream licensing of mineral plants.