THE Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the engagement of transaction advisors for consultancy services for the concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the National Iron Ore Mining Complex in Itakpe, Kogi State.
FEC also approved contracts worth N10.48bn and $27.09m respectively for the Federal Ministry of Power, for the purchase of several transmission equipment to stabilise power supply nationwide.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents shortly after Wednesday’s hybrid FEC meeting Presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the council chambers of the State House, Abuja.
Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Mines and Steel, Olamilekan Adegbite, said the move breathes an air of hope into the long-abandoned piece of infrastructure.
He said “Council approved the engagement of transaction advisors for consultancy services for the concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and also the National Iron Ore Mining Complex in Itakpe in favour of CPCS Transform Consortium in the sum of N853,266,644.4 inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT.
“I am sure we are all familiar with the history of the Ajaokuta Steel complex. The contract was awarded in 1979 to a Russian company called TPE. By the end of 1983, the contract had reached an advanced stage, regrettably, since then it has been suffering by 1994, TPE demobilised from the site and in 1996, the contract was determined.
“Subsequently, various administrations have tried to revive the Ajaokuta steel complex without much success. However, you will recall that Mr President was on a state visit to Russia on October 22 and 24 2019 and here it was resolved that the Ajaokuta steel complex which the Federal Government has made massive investment must be resuscitated.”
He further explained that the COVID-19 slowed down the efforts of the Ministry of Mines to bring the project to fruition.
He added, “However, today, the council has approved the award of a contract not just for Ajaokuta but for the iron ore in Itakpe.
“We believe that with this development, we would have made significant steps in bringing back to life both the Ajaokuta and the iron ore company in Etakpe and move forward the industrial revolution of Nigeria.
“When these two complexes begin to function, then, not only are we going to save money in terms of foreign exchange, but we are going to see a lot of industrial development and also technology transfer.”
In his address, the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, revealed that the Council approved contracts worth N10.48bn and $27.09m respectively for the Federal Ministry of Power for the power sector, in order to boost electricity supply across the country.
The minister noted that he presented three memoranda to the Council, including one seeking variation for an old contract.
He noted that the approvals were for the purchase of major electricity transmission equipment.