By John Ikani
The Federal Government is set to collaborate with the Chinese company, Luan Steel Holding Group, for the establishment of a new steel plant in Nigeria. In addition, there are plans to initiate the production of military hardware at the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
A delegation, led by the Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Audu, Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Dr. Mary Ogbe, visited Luan Steel Holding Group in Hefei and Guangzhou Regions of China to explore this partnership.
Prince Audu highlighted that the visit is a strategic move towards realizing the objectives of rejuvenating the steel industry in Nigeria, aligning with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
The minister emphasized ongoing efforts to establish a functional steel industry, aiming to attract significant foreign direct investments, stimulate economic growth, and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs—a focal point of the Renewed Hope Agenda.
Addressing the security challenges in Nigeria, Prince Audu emphasized the timely nature of producing military hardware at the Ajaokuta Steel Plant. He underlined the potential contribution to the nation’s efforts in combating insecurity and terrorism.
“We had substantial discussions with the Chairman of Luan Steel Holding Group, Mr. Wang Jianbing, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Xiao Weizhan, and other senior executives. Luan Steel Holding Group, like many other investors, has expressed interest in establishing a new steel plant in Nigeria and contributing to the Ajaokuta Steel Plant’s military hardware production,” stated Prince Audu.
Accompanied by the Minister of Defence and the Permanent Secretary, the delegation, including Mr. Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, Sole Administrator/Managing Director of Ajaokuta Steel Company, aimed to assess Luan steel plants firsthand before making informed decisions.
“With the commitments in place, we are optimistic that commercial steel production in government-owned entities in Nigeria will commence before the end of President Tinubu’s administration,” concluded Prince Audu.