After many years of been left in the cold, Ajaokuta might come back on stream in the next one and half years. This is because the lingering legal dispute surrounding the operation and ownership of the facility has been resolved.
Nigerian government said it will require about USD2 billion to resuscitate the factory to an optimal capacity.
The government is expected to raise the funds from private investors who are expected to take equity investment in the plant.
Should the government’s plan go as expected, the plant is projected to employ about 50,000 Nigerians and it is expected to positively impact various aspects of the economy.
The confusion and limbo over the Ajaokuta Steel plant was created by a botched concessionary deal given to India’s Global Steel Holdings. The company spent close to four years at the plan without producing any steel. The plant was actually left in a pillaged and vandalised state with about NGN40 billion in debts after it was taken over by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON.
Looking forward, the federal government said it projects a minimum revenue of NGN70 billion annually by the time the plant become operational.
What is important at this point is for the government to get professionals who will advise the government properly on how to get the right investor for the plant to avoid another limbo.