Ajaokuta steel to begins operations soon, says Adegbite
The outgoing Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, has revealed that the Ajaokuta steel company will begins operations soon.
He expressed optimism that in spite of all bottlenecks that the Buhari administration had taken the process of completing and operationalising the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, ASCL, to an advanced level that will see it producing in the near future.
Adegbite stated this during the valedictory dinner organized in recognition of his outstanding stewardship as Minister in the solid minerals and steel sector by diplomatic vista.
The Minister noted that the challenges posed by the Kogi State Government and other bottlenecks to the planned concession of Ajaokuta would be resolved by the next administration and the steel mill would eventually be made to produce.
According to him, government is a continuum, and as such successive administrations should be able to build on what has been achieved to accomplish set development goals in overall interest of the people as nation.
“Ajaokuta seems to be intractable but that’s not true. We’ve taken Ajaokuta to a point, and we would have achieved a bigger milestone, but we had an impediment. The Kogi State government thought it differently, went to court that stopped what we were doing. But I’m sure this will be resolved and Ajaokuta will start producing. Government is a continuum.”
The federal government had commenced the concession process for ASCL and the National Iron Ore Mining Company, NIOMCO, at Itakpe both in Kogi State with an advertisement, but in protest, the Kogi State Government went to court and got an injunction restraining the federal government from from proceeding with concession process.
The defendants in matter are the Attorney General of the Federation, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Bureau of Public Enterprise, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the National Iron Ore Mining Company.
On the $600 million Kaduna private integrated steel plant, located in Gujeni village of Kagarko LGA in Kaduna State, being built by African Natural Resources and Mines, the Minister it had been fully completed but being test run ahead of it’s official commissioning.
Graced by dignitaries including some co-ministers, senators, and House of Reps members, relatives and well-wishers among others from across the country and beyond, the event witnessed an outpouring of goodwill messages/tributes which later climaxed in cutting of cake and toast to the Minister.
Welcoming the guests on behalf of the organisers earlier, Mr Segun Lawson, the owner/CEO of Segilola Gold Project, the subsidiary of Thor Explorations Limited in Ogun State, explained that the event tagged: “A Dinner, Networking, and Recognition Night” was put together with stakeholders to appreciate the good works of the two outgoing ministers, Adegbite and the Minister of State, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade, and top management as well as the rank and file staff of the ministry.
“It is on record that they had discharge their duties creditably well, and diversification agenda of the federal government through the solid minerals sector has been taken to a higher pedestal,” he added.
On his part, Senator Ibikunle Amusun, a former Ogun State Governor, Adegbite, acknowledged as his mentor in the course of responding to speeches, expressed delight that the Minister did not disappoint him.