Samuel Bello, Abuja
The Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd (ASCL), Sumaila Abdul-Akaba said on Thursday that the level of completion for construction and equipping of Ajaokuta Steel Company was at 95.7 percent.
Abdul-Akaba made the disclosure in Abuja while presenting the audit report to the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari.
In February 2018, the minister and the management team of the ministry of mines and steel development, commissioned Ajaokuta management to carry out an internal audit that would ascertain the state of the plants and machineries that would lead to finding out the next line of action.
According to the sole administrator, an estimate of $652 million would be needed for the completion of the plant.
“We were able to get a cost element attached to the existing facilities to ensure that the plant and machineries are available for operation. We would ascertain what it would cost the government to carry out the job and make it operational. It’s just plant and machinery. It has nothing to do with internal and external structure.
“Our estimate today is $652 million. We are going to the next level to define clearly what we want to do and how we want to move the project forward. Ajaokuta would surely come into operation very soon,” he stated.
In his response, Minister Abubakar Bwari said the next step from the federal government would be to appoint transaction advisers on the best strategy needed to avoid misconceptions in the nearest future.
“The exciting thing is that this job was done by Nigerians. For a long time we have been inviting foreigners to do it, but this time around we used our Nigerian Society of Engineers to get us their people to do this job for us.
“We have a series of actions we are taking; the next step is to appoint transaction advisers to advice us on the best strategy to use and, as far as we are concerned here, it is to put Ajaokuta into operation and for us to do that we don’t want to repeat the mistakes we made in the past,” the minister said.