Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said that part of the reasons hindering Russian technicians from auditing the Ajaokuta Steel is the Covid-19 pandemic.
But Adegbite said the squalid multi billion asset will be revived before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023.
The minister disclosed this during a forum organised by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Adegbite had in December 2020 said a 60-man committee from Russia will come to audit the steel complex.
The audit team would comprise of TPE who are the original builders of the steel complex.
The decision was first reached after Buhari met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2019.
Russia had then nominated TPE to audit the dilapidated steel complex.
But months after the steel minister announced their coming, he told NAN that the Covid-19 was delaying the technical audit.
The minister lamented that the Ajaokuta steel which was built to produce liquid steel has never worked to its full potential.
He said, “Ajaokuta Steel Company has not been able to produce liquid steel since it was built –the little hurdles we need to address.
“The steel company has worked in the past whereby billet were imported to produce reinforcement but that was not what Ajaokuta steel was built for.”
According to him, the liquid steel produced from the steel complex could be used for building aeroplane and car engine parts.