The Federal Government at the weekend said it would get a competent private investor for the completion and commercial operation of the Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Plant, situated in Kogi State.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said this at the 11th National Delegates Conference (NDC) of the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN) which took place in Lokoja, Kogi State.
Fayemi, who was represented on the occasion by the Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Company said the ministry would work in collaboration with transaction advisers and relevant agencies of government like Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and Buraeu for Private Enterprises (BPE) to achieve that.
The minister noted that federal government has resolved to break the four decade long jinx of liquid steel production in Nigeria adding that the plans of the government would be unveiled next year.
“The execution of the Modified Concession Agreement on the National Iron Ore Mining Company, (NIOMCO) Itakpe, was one of the actions taken by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari with the sole intent of unlocking the public steel sector from all arbitral encumbrances since 2008.
Dr. Fayemi noted that the recent launched roadmap for the minerals and metal sector re-enforces the fact that “henceforth government is to focus on its role as administrator/ regulator and no longer owner/operator”.
“This implies that the efforts of the ministry are geared towards creating the favourable investment climate for private operators to thrive in the steel industry,” he said.
He noted that the ministry through the intervention agencies and fiscal policy tools of government would continue to provide incentives to the private operators in the steel sector for conducive and competitive business climate in Nigeria.