The Minister of Works, David Umahi, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Steel Development, Shuaib Audu, have resolved to work together in tapping into the opportunities in the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria. This was part of the outcome of their inter-ministerial meeting held today, at the Federal Ministry of Works, Headquarters, Mabushi, Abuja, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu.
The far reaching resolutions of the two Ministers underscored the imperative of coordination, cooperation coherence, and complementarity in the execution of Federal Government’s action plans for national development.
Speaking on the outcome of their meeting, Umahi hinted that the Ministry of Steel Development would play a major role in the road infrastructure revolution plan envisioned by Mr President, by providing more than 16 per cent of the materials needed for the construction of Nigeria’s roads in concrete pavement. He said that tapping into the opportunities in the steel Industry would not only creat jobs and wealth for Nigeria’s population, but also create a global market in Nigeria, as well as encourage industrialisation.
“How do we reactivate Ajaokuta Steel? We are going into concrete road, and in this concrete road, about 16 per cent of it is from steel while 30 per cent is cement . We need a lot of money to start, but we decided to face it and God has given us an idea. We need about 35 billion dollars to start . If we start waiting for FG, it might become difficult. We did Return On Investment (ROI) , the profit we could have made, part of it will go to bank interest. We are looking at commercial banks, but Federal Executive Council has to endorse it. If this could be done, it means Mr President is actually living to his words and this is going to be possible”
Umahi also commended the Minister of Steel Development for his efforts in developing the steel sector, noting that steel industry is the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialisation and the backbone that stimulates national development and economic boost for the industrial growth of any nation.
While assuring the Minister of Steel Development that his Ministry would work collaboratively in his efforts to enhance the potentialities of Ajaokuta Steel Plant, Umahi hinted that, “Mr President never made a mistake in his appointment. I call him a Divine President, and the most important thing is that our eyes are on the job.”
The Minister continued, “One of the items on the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President is to think outside the box. Mr President inherited a large chunk of debt from the past administration, but the beauty of it is that he is not complaining; he knew how the country was before he took the job and how it is. The good thing is that if you have passion for something God will give you an idea.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Steel Development, Shiuaib Audu said, “We are seriously thinking outside the box to see how we can implement the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President. What we came to discuss here is how to restart Steel production at Ajaokuta Steel Plant. The Hon Minister of Works has made it very clear that the Federal Government is looking to develop over 30,000 kilometers of road and a large component of that will be from Steel wrought , and percentage of that Steel wrought will be produced in Ajaokuta. We came to have a discussion on how to implement the process for producing it in Ajaokuta within the shortest possible time”
Audu emphasised the importance of the initiative by both Ministers and expressed hope that it would provide the needed economic boost for the nation, generate revenue and provide thousands of direct jobs for skilled and non- skilled technicians and hundreds of thousands of unskilled jobs in Nigeria.