The Federal Government has said that to get the Ajaokuta Steel Complex to produce at full installed capacity requires an investment of $2 billion. The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was quoted to have said this in a publication of the ministry obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday.
At the installed capacity, the steel mill, constructed by the Russians in 1979 but never inaugurated, can produce five million metric tonnes of steel per annum. Under the privatisation programme of the Federal Government, the Ajaokuta Steel Complex was given out on concession to an Indian firm, Global Steel Holdings Limited, for $300 million.
Following allegation of asset stripping by the Indian firm, the concession was cancelled by the late President Umar Yar’Adua on April 1, 2008. Consequently, the GSHL approached the International Court of Arbitration for arbitration against the Federal Government.