Running News & Commentary on Iron & Steel in Nigeria
December 28, 2006 | posted by Nigerian Muse (Archives)
Running News & Commentary on Iron & Steel in Nigeria
Solgas Drags FG to London Arbitration Panel
By Mike Oduniyi, 01.03.2005
United States energy group, Solgas Energy Limited, has dragged the Federal
Government before a London arbitration panel, seeking relief for alleged
unlawful termination of a contract entered into by both parties for the
management of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Solgas in the statement of relief being sought from the International Chamber of
Commerce (ICC), wants the Nigerian government to pay for all the sums it may be
liable for as a result of the government's breach of contracts totalling some
$2.409 billion, as well as all costs and legal fees expended by the company.
The Federal Government and Solgas entered into a Concession Agreement in June
2003, transfering the management of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant to the US firm for
an initial period of 24 months.
However, in August last year, the Federal Government terminated the contract
alleging under performance by Solgas. It subsequently signed a new concession
agreement with Global Infrasrtucture Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of ISPAT, an
Indian steel conglomerate.
Solgas in the claims filed by its team attorneys, claimed it had in deed
commenced the discharge of its own side of the agreement while the Federal
Government renege on all aspects of its obligations to the contract.
The firm deposed that following the execution of the agreement, it had set to
work on the rehabilitation of the steel plant and making preparations to comply
with its obligations.
It said it had entered into a $282 million contract with a Russian firm,
Zarubzhstronio (ZSM), to perform rehabilitation of the plant.
Other contracts entered into in the bid to get the black start production
included the supply of $2 billion worth of generators from Caterpilla Company,
Ingresol-Rand and Capstone Microturbine, and with Berry Company, Texas for the
sale and relocation of $127 million iron carbide plant.
The Nigerian government failed to execute its side of the agreement, which
included payment of salaries of the plant workers, authorising visa and work
permits for Solgas management and failure to provide proper security for the
Solgas alleged that the Nigerian government's decision to terminate rthe
contract was largely due to political interferance and the company's decision
not to oblige bribe demanded by some government officials.
"The new contract with Global Infrastructure was to rehabilitate and commission
the Ajaokuita Steel Plant, thereby breaching the concession agreement with
seeks recovery of all sums which it would have received had not the FGN and ASCL
breached the Agreement, as well as all sums expended in reliance on FGN and
ASCL's contractual promises," the company's statement of relief said.
It added that it had earlier served the Federal Government with the 30-day
notice required under the contract.
The troubled Ajaokuta Steel plant had been under construction for the past 24
years later, and gulping more than $5 billion (N665 billion).
Solgas was contracted on the agreement that it would inject some $3.6 billion to
ensure the plant take off at long last.
The new agreement with Global Infrastructure would see it take full control of
Ajaokuta Steel Company for 10 years, which is renewable for another 10 years.
Ajaokuta Steel –– Light Section Mill
luka binniyat, abuja
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Global Infrastructure Holdings Ltd., GIHL, the new managers of Ajaokuta Steel
Complex Limited (ASCL) announced last Friday the commencement of production at
the Light Section Mill of the Steel Plant.
According to a press release signed by the General Manager of GIHL, Abuja
Office, Mr. Aloysius Lobo, the Light Section Mill is capable of producing round
& rib bars (12-30 mm), squares (10-30 mm), hexagons (10-26mm) and strips (6-12 x
12-70 mm) and a wide variety of structural such as angles (25x25x4 mm to
50x50x5/6 mm), channels (30-45 mm) & T-sections (30-60 mm).
These products are mostly used in construction activities. The mill has an
installed capacity of 400,000 tons per annum, meaning that there would be a
significant drop in the local prices of these products soon.
Last month, it commissioned the Wire Rod Mill and other mills, three months
ahead of schedule.
According to the statement, the managing director & chief executive officer of
GIHL, Lalit Kumar Sehgal, affirmed that the other units like the Coke Oven
Battery, Blast Furnace & Steel Melting Shop are progressing well and would be
commissioned on schedule.
The Federal Government signed a new consensus agreement with Global
Infrastructure Holding Limitd (GIHL) –– a subsidiary of ISPAT of India –– on
18th August this year, after it terminated its concession with Solgas Energy
ISPAT would rehabilitate, complete and run the US$10 billion abandoned
government investment for ten years before handing back to government.
Ajaokuta Steel rolls out iron bars, 17 years after
The Punch, Thursday, December 02, 2004
Michael Faloseyi, Abuja
The Steel Rolling Mill unit of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex resumed production on
Tuesday, after about 17 years in the doldrums.
The Minister of Power and Steel, Senator Liyel Imoke, presided over the ceremony
hosted by the new management of the steel complex, Ispat, preparatory to
resuming the statement froom CAP Plc has announced production of iron bars that
were last produced in 1988 at the steel company.
Imoke said that the start up of the rolling mill was gratifying and a reflection
of the government’s commitment to ensure steel production in Nigeria. He said
that the feat was a step towards realising the dream of producing liquid steel
from the complex by May 29, 2005, when the blast furnace would have started
“Indeed it is a beginning of a new era, an era that ended in 1992 the last time
the mill functioned. This is the beginning of a realisation of a dream by those
who conceptualised the steel complex,” he stated.
“Today is the beginning of a step in many steps that have to be taken to get to
the reactivation of the furnace plant,” he stated, adding this is often
described as the brain of the steel complex.
Imoke said, “We have taken a few steps in the right direction for the first
steel coils to have come out of Ajaokuta. For those who say that nothing good
can come out of Ajaokuta, today we are all witnessing something good coming out
“I want to congratulate the new management and host communities, the
stakeholders, especially the staff for being very supportive under very trying
circumstances and difficult period who resolved to be cooperative.”
He advised the workers to remain dedicated in the discharge of their
responsibilities, promising that their three-month arrears of salaries owed by
the Federal Government would be paid in January alongside their severance
benefits, when the new management would have fully taken over.
His words: “We need your commitment, this is your project and for it to work,
you have to be committed to it. We need you to commit to working, earning your
pay and contributing your quota to the growth and development of not just
Ajaokuta but also of Nigeria.”
“The import of producing steel in Nigeria cannot be lost. Nobody produces steel
if it is not economic and beneficial or if there is no profit. It is not
produced as a national asset. We need to take advantage of the market
opportunity in the steel market by producing from this plant.”
Friday October 22, 11:08 PM
Nigeria steel plant to produce 40,000 tonnes
By Tume Ahemba
LAGOS, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Nigeria's Ajaokuta
Steel Co. has started test production and is expected to roll out about 40,000
tonnes of finished products by the end of November, the plant's new manager,
India's Ispat Industries , said on Friday.
Nigeria signed a concession agreement in
August with Ispat unit Global Infrastructure Holding Ltd. to revive the
uncompleted 1.3 million tonnes-per-year mill after the collapse of an earlier
deal with UK-registered Solgas.
"The plant has started rolling, we are doing
the hot trial and adjusting the parameters to meet international standards," the
plant's managing director Lilat Shegal told Reuters.
"We are following a sequential process of
stabilising one unit after another. We should be producing between 30,000-40,000
tonnes of finished products by end of November," Shegal said by phone from
Ajaokuta in central Kogi state.
Nigeria signed a deal with Ispat after
revoking a $3.6 billion 10-year contract with Solgas Energy Ltd. to revamp the
mill due the firm's inability to raise the cash.
The deal's collapse dealt a major blow to
Nigeria's privatisation programme, which was already suffering after the botched
sale of the Aluminium Smelter Co. of Nigeria in July to U.S.-registered BFI
That sale hit the rocks when the firm failed
to pay 10 percent of the bid price.
Shegal said Ispat has made a huge investment
in the troubled plant, but declined to say how much. He added that the mill's
production capacity would be raised in phases until it is fully commissioned in
"We have already put in a huge amount of
money in the plant. My target is to buy all the spares, get all the experts, get
all the necessary equipment needed and to run the plant profitably," Shegal
Under the agreement, Global Infrastructure
which operates plants in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Libya and the
Philippines, is to complete building and manage the steel mill for 10 years
before handing it back to the government.
Analysts have said the Indian steel giant has
the technical and financial capacity to operate the mill in which successive
governments have poured about $4.5 billion since construction first started 25
The Ajaokuta plant was 90 percent built by
Russia's Tyazyproexport and designed to use local ore and imported coal.
It was one of dozens of white elephant
industries built by Nigeria's military rulers in the 1970s to transform the
world's eighth-largest oil exporter into an industrial giant.
October 22, 2004
Explosion Rocks Ajaokuta Power Plant
From Cletus Akwaya in Abuja
Heavy explosion Wednesday rocked Ajaokuta Steel Complex
Limited (ASCL)thereby saling up the hope of early commencement of steel
production in Nigeria. The explosion affected some portions of the plant,
blowing up the huge Electric Motor in the Circulating Water Pump of the
Thermal Power Plant (TPP), regarded as the heart of the entire complex.
Reports from Ajaokuta said it took serious effort on the
part of the Fire Service to put out the fire which started in the early hours of
the morning. No casualty was however reported in the inferno.
THISDAY checks revealed that the explosion errupted as a
result of wrong procedures on the part of technicians of ASCL sent to effect
rehabilitation of TPP by the new management.
The electric water pump, which sources at the plant
described as a very expensive item cools the turbines and the bearings of other
Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (GINL), a subsidiary
of ISPAT of India, which was appointed by Federal Governmet in August to cmplete,
commissioin and operate the steel complex had upon taken over the factory sacked
Power Works Nigeria Limited, the company handling the rehabilitation of the
power plant. Power Works had brought the original builders of TPP from Ukraine
and had carried out repairs of the abandoned TPP to the crucial test in August.
Both the suspension of Power Works Nigeria Limited and
Wednesday's explosion are a major setback to the company, which had promised to
complete the rehabilitation of TPP in six months and commence production of
A source close to Power Works Engineers, who worked on the
plant, said repais of the damaged parts of TPP would take about a year or two to
It was not clear why technicians, who do not understand
the nitty gritty of TPP and had not worked for over ten years were sent to fix
the complex plant.
About four years ago, a similar incident occurred at Egbin
Thermal Power Station, when some technicians who were not conversant with the
system were allegedly assigned to carry out some rehabilitation work on the
facility. In that incident, one of the boilers was gutted by fire, leading to a
deafening explosion. Government had to bring in Marubeni, of Japan, which built
the plant, to effect repairs, a source told THISDAY.
Meanwhile, reports yesterday from Ajaokuta indicated that
the management of ASCL were in a protracted meeting with officials of Federal
Ministry of Power and Steel in Abuja, ostensibly in a bid to find a solution to
When Power Works Nigeria Limited carried out the barring
test of the TPP after it had worked on it for a month in August there were high
hopes that the plant would work again afetr lying waste for over 14 years. The
hopes were hinged on the fact that the barring test, was an indication that TPP
is indeed in a shape to run again, after due repairs and rehabilitation.
Power Works, a Nigerian Energy company, had brought in
Vasily Paseka, the Ukranian who built and operated the most complex and vital
part of Ajaokuta Steel Company, with his team of Ukrainians, after it had signed
a contract with ASCL, to bring back the plant to life and generate 110 mega watt
of electricity for sale to the complex and its environs. The entire repairs were
estimated at $20 million and was to be provided by by Power Works. While the
Ukrainians teamed with other Nigerian engineers and fixed TPP to its barring
test level, leaving three more months for total completion of the job, SOLGAS,
which was managing ASCL, had its contract cancelled by government. The contract
was not reviewed by GINL when it took over as it preferred fresh negotiations of
thew terms of the contrac. However, the Minister of Steel and Steel, Senator
Liyel Imoke, at a press conference to usher in CINL, had told the press that
GINL would not honour any deal entered by SOLGAS. It was while the negotiations
were going on that GINL sent in its technicians to do what Power Works was doing
that the explosion happened. So far, Nigeria's investment in the project is in
excess of $10 billion (about N1.5 trillion), with mounting loses incurred on
staff salaries. Last week's announcement of the production of the first molten
steel, said a source in Ajaokuta, was an error, as the molted steel was not
produced at the ASCL, but from imported billets by the estranged Global Metrix
of Ukraine who were repairing the rolling mills under SOLGAS.
September 26, 2004
Ajaokuta Steel Begins Production, Oct 8 -
From Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Ajaokuta
Management of the Ajaokuta Steel Company,
has given October 8, as the day it will commence initial production of steel
product from the rehabilitated plant.
Managing Director of the company Mr. Lalit Sahgel told newsmen at the weekend
that the company intended to produce about 300,000 tones of steel on the first
As part of arrangement to ensure a hitch-free operation, he said the
management will be test-running the plant between September 28 and 29, 2004 to
be followed by the actual rolling out of liquid steel product on October 8.
"We want to do the cold start on September 28th and we will heat up the
furnace on the 29th. It will last about 10 days to stabilize for temperature
of over 1000 centigrade. Around October 8, we would be rolling out the first
steel from the plant", he said.
Sahgel said that 15,000 tones of Billet has been imported for the median
operation which will last for a month before another volume of 30,000 tones
could be ordered.
The MD said the production capacity would be further increased to 400,000
tones in a few months time and gradually expanded to meet the 1.5 million tons
installed capacity of the plant.
"Every of our plans are on track", Sahgel assured, adding that the management
was not under any pressure meeting the target as contained in the agreement
with Federal Government.
Following the termination of the 10-year contract agreement it entered with
Solgas Energy, an American Energy Company, FG negotiated another concession
agreement with the Indian steel firm - ISPAT to complete and operate the
Ajaokuta Steel Plant abandoned for almost 27 years.
Under the terms of agreement, the new team are to plough its resources into
the rehabilitation of the facilities of the company which was built to 98
percent completion before it was abandoned.
The investing company will in return manage and operate the steel plant for 10
years before handing it over to government. The agreement specified a number
of conditions, among which are production targets to be achieved at various
stages of the implementation of the deal.
Ajaokuta Plant Needs N99bn, Says Imoke
iSPAT replaces Solgas
From Samuel Famakinwa, Ahamefula Ogbu,
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Yinka Kolawole in Lokoja
Power and Steel minister, Senator Liyel Imoke yesterday told
the House of Representatives Committee on Steel that N99 billion was needed to
overhaul facilities at the Ajaokuta Steel complex. This is just as the federal
government has positioned an indian firm, iSPAT to take over from Solgas to
manage the firm.
Imoke disclosed that the amount, which was not provided for in the 2004
budget, would, however, be needed for the completion of the rail project,
rehabilitation of roads, as well as putting the port at Ajaokuta into usable
The minister, who was in the House to brief the legislators about the new
management team that has taken over from Solgas also declared that the
government has recalled all sacked staff of the steel plant.
"The infrastructure that will make Ajaokuta viable is not yet there. They are
rail line, functional ports, roads, and electricity. Without these facilities,
how can we move 1.3 million coking coal to the plant? We need to dredge the
channels and open access to sources of raw materials," the minister told the
Meanwhile, the new Ajaokuta management contractors, Global Infrastructures
Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of ISPAT yesterday formally took over of the
steel plant, promising to achieve commercial production of steel from the
plant in the next six months.
At a press conference jointly addressed by the Minister of Power and Steel,
Senator Liyel Imoke and chairman of the management team, Mr. Pramod Mittal in
Abuja, the firm said it was prepared to achieve among others, the start-up of
power plant, Billet Mill, Sinter plant and heating up of coke ovens in the
first six months of commencement of the new contract.
The company also said it would ensure the revival of workshops, utilities and
auxiliaries, supplies of Iron Ore, Limestone and Dolomite from mines and match
recruitment, training and development of human resources with pace of
resuscitation at the steel plant.
"We have a very good rehabilitation plan and design. Our objective is to bring
this plant into operation as soon as possible and we have given fixed targets
to government in terms of planning and operations and we are going to demand
fixed targets from employees of the company. Our target is to complete the
steel-making capacity by 2005," Mittal said.
The Chairman further assured that his team would within the next twelve months
activate the Blast furnace, Steel Melting and Casting plant as well as Medium
structural Mill of the plant, adding that they will attempt to achieve the set
targets even at an earlier date.
On how the new team would cope with the enormous challenges of kick-starting
the plant, Mittal said they had already started putting resources in place and
mobilizing manpower to site having negotiated the contract.
"We intend to use and optimize the utilization of all existing natural
resources available in the country, which includes optimizing the operation of
the Port in Warri, optimizing the utilization of Iron Ore, Optimizing the
Dolomite Mine, Limestone.
Daily Independent Online.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004.
International emerges preferred bidder for Delta Steel
•Wants payment spread over one year, tax holiday
National Council on Privatisation has formally declared BUA International
Limited as the preferred bidder for the troubled Delta Steel Company (DSC),
Aladja Delta State after it increased its June 18 bid of $20.5 million to
by Kano businessman, Isiyaku Rabiu, BUA emerged the highest bidder for the
80 per cent equity shares in Delta Steel Company after outbidding two other
competitors- OSAKA Steels, which bidded $2.55 million and Niger Benue
Transport Company (NBTC), which bidded for $10 million.
showed great determination to win the bid during the bids opening ceremony
by substantially upping its first round bid of $7.5 million to $20.05
million when Mr. Akin Kekere-Ekun, chairman of the Technical Committee of
the National Council of Privatisation (NCP) announced the second round
bidding conducted at the NICON Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Kekere-Ekun, while declaring BUA the winner of the day’s contest, refused to
pronounce it preferred bidder, insisting that the amount still fell short of
the undisclosed base price.
said he would report to the council and report back to the company but NCP
finally approved its bid after it increased the price during further
Although BUA was originally a trading company, it has since diversified into
the real sector of bulk cement re-bagging, flourmills, oil processing,
fabrication and financial services, according to the technical committee
However, The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr.
Julius Bala, told Daily Independent in Abuja that the company has
requested some incentives from the council on the transaction.
According to him, BUA has asked for a tax holiday and the payment of $20.5
million within 90 days of its being conferred the status of preferred bidder
and pay the balance of $4.5 million one year thereafter.
means that the company would not have to pay the usual initial 10 per cent
within 15 working days of that conferment. “These requests have been
forwarded for the NCP for approval,” Bala stated.
Group is said to have established “enduring working relationships with
foreign groups as Midland Standard Inc, Cleveland, Ohio USA; Rooney
Associates, USA; and Kardemir Iron & Steel Works, Karabuk, Turkey.
has a proven technical partnership and management agreement with Ferro
International Trade Inc., Ankara, Turkey for the iron and steel projects.
This Turkish Iron and Steel firm has agreed to work with Kardemir Integrated
Iron and Steel Company to support BUA,” Kekere-Ekun declared.
Established at a cost of $1.5 billion, DSC started operations in 1982 and
achieved 25 per cent of installed capacity in 1985 but stopped production in
1996 due to working capital restraint.
According to Bala, the rehabilitation of the company could not go on because
only the Federal Government paid its financial obligation of $45 million
while the contractors failed to remit $55 million and $40 million
counterpart funding respectively.
Following this, the NCP approved the immediate privatisation of the company
on the basis of 80 per cent to core investor, 10 per cent to local community
and 10 per cent to DSCstaff.
August 23, 2004
Ajaokuta Thermal Plant
Undergoes Test Run
From Cletus Akwaya in Abuja
Comprehensive rehabilitation of the Ajaokuta Steel
Company Limited (ASCL)Thermal Power Plant (TPP) being undertaken by Power
Works Limited, inched towards completion last week with the "blaring" test on
the 110 mega watts power facility.
The repairs expected to gulp $20 million is being carried out by Ukrainian
engineers, who built the plant from scratch to completion in 1987, in
conjunction with some local engineers.
The "blaring" test, climaxed several weeks of inspection and preliminary
repairs and replacement of key components by the Ukrainian team led by
Engineer Vasily Paseka.
Last week's feat raises hope for the resuscitation of the steel complex itself
as a lot of the operations in the main steel complex is dependent on the power
supplied from the TPP. It also gave indication of the repairable condition of
the plant abandoned for about 10 years.
Chairman of Power Works Limited, an independent Nigerian Energy Company, Dr.
Akin Durotoye, who spoke to newsmen at the weekend said the rehabilitation
works would be completed in a "few weeks time."
Durotoye disclosed that his company signed a contract with ASCL to finance and
actually carry out repairs of the TPP adding, apart from the repairs, his
company would also generate power and sell to ASCL for 10 years, beginning
from the date of completion and operation of the plant.
He disclosed that one of the two turbines of the power plant was in good
condition while three of the five boilers have been fixed.
"We have ordered for more parts from Ukraine, the country that built the
plant", he said, adding that but for delays in clearing the goods, the power
plant would start generating 50 mega watts of power in a few weeks time.
He noted that since the TPP was the heart of the operation of the steel
complex, its early completion means that whoever would buy or manage the
complex has a major problem already taken care of.
"The TPP generates electricity that the entire complex requires," he stated
adding, "the steam which is heated several hundreds of degree centigrade, that
ultimately smelts the steel, is heated at the TPP". Also, he said the TPP has
the cooling system of the steel production plant among other functions.
He assured that Power Works had the resources and the requisite technical
know-how to successfully complete the rehabilitation work on the TPP.
For instance, he disclosed that the 65-year old leader of the Engineering
team, Paseka, whom Power Works searched for and found in Ukraine, was the
expert who built the TPP and ran it for 10 years before the ASCL was abandoned
in 1994. "Paseka is on ground in ASCL working with 10 engineers who are
experts in various parts of the TPP," he added. On the Nigerian side, he
disclosed that the Director of Operations, Power Works, Engr. Abdul Bodurin,
had worked at the TPP with Paseka, as General Manager, until it shut
operations. He gave the name of another Nigerian expert in the team as Dr.
Vincent Dogo, the Project Manager, who he said is Ukrainian/British trained
Thermal, Electrical and Electronic Engineer who has designed and built power
stations in Europe. "We have fully paid our expatriates, even upfront of their
remunerations, just to let them have confidence in our contract terms", he
said, adding "we have also spent millions of Naira rehabilitating, and
furnishing the residents of our staff in the ASCL quarters, to assure them
that we mean business and care about their well being." He said that should
the TPP start generating power before the steel plants starts working, Power
Works Limited would enter into an agreement with the National Electrical Power
Authority (NEPA) to sell the power produced at the facility pending the
commencement of operations in the steel plant. He regretted that despite the
successes his company was recording on the project some Nigerians were not
aware that there was a positive development in Ajaokuta beyond the crisis over
payment of workers salaries.
May 18, 2004
Ajaokuta: Indian Firm
From Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Following the termination of the 10-year
technical and financial concession agreement with Solgas Energy, USA for the
management of the Ajaokuta Steel, the Federal Government yesterday struck a
fresh deal with an Indian steel company - Global Infrastructure, a subsidiary of
ISPAT of India, for another 10-year technical management contract.
The development comes against the background of Solgas'
admission of incompetence to manage the steel company and calls from both the
Senate and other stakeholders for the termination of the agreement.
A statement from the Ministry of Power and Steel, signed
by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Clinton Oni, said the Federal Government has
asked Global Infrastructure to rehabilitate, complete and manage Ajaokuta
Steel Company following the termination of an earlier agreement with Solgas
Energy of America.
Minister of Power and Steel, Senator Liyel Imoke, signed
the concession agreement on behalf of the Federal Government while Mr. Pramod
Mittal endorsed the documents on behalf of his company.
Under the new agreement, Ajaokuta Steel Company is
expected to produce 1.3 million tones of liquid steel per annum, with the
possibility of increasing its capacity to 1.5 million metric tones.
"Owing to grave concerns expressed by Government and
stakeholders in the steel sector, the Federal Government and Solgas Energy of
America had agreed to mutually terminate the concession agreement, which was
entered into 13 months ago," the statement said.
Imoke expressed confidence in Ispat owing to its global
experience in integrated iron and steel business.
He observed that the company had potentials, financial
capability and technical expertise required to effectively operate the
Ajaokuta steel company and produce steel for the first time before the end of
He noted that the new managers would make all efforts to
meet the expectations of Nigerians with full cooperation and support of the
Ministry of Power and Steel in the country's bid to realise the spirit and
content of the agreement.
He added that some of the ailing steel plants taken over
by ISPAT and later turned around include, the rolling mills at Kalkota, the
iron and steel company of Trinidad and Tobago and that of Mexico. Ispat, he
said, also increased plant capacity in Canada, Germany and Ireland among
May 18, 2004
Indian firm takes over Ajaokuta steel
From Alifa Daniel (Abuja)
A MEETING of Power and
Steel, Minister Liyel Imoke, and officials of the Steel Workers Union of Nigeria
(SEWUN) and the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSAN) has
resolved that the shut down Ajaokuta Steel plant be reopened within two weeks.
The Federal Government has also agreed in principle to pay the workers their
salaries until December as well as the 50 per cent shortfall between May and
A violent protest by workers two weeks ago led to the closure of the plant.
Also yesterday, the government in a statement by the ministry confirmed that
the American energy company, SOLGAS Energy, had withdrawn from the concession
agreement to run the N600 billion steel firm.
The statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Adebolu Clinton Oni, confirms
The Guardian exclusive reports last Saturday and Sunday that the concession pact
with SOLGAS had been revoked based on stakeholders pressure and the company's
confession that it could not raise money to execute the $3.6 agreement.
Ajaokuta Steel workers union officials confirmed also that the government
functionaries told them that it would be represented with 20 per cent membership
on the company's new board of directors.
"They informed also that the handing over and taking over by SOLGAS and ISPAT
Group will be done in 30 days," one union official said.
Meanwhile, the full text of the ministry of power and steel statement
"The Federal Government has signed a ten year concession Agreement with
Global Infrastructure - a member of ISPAT Group of Indian to rehabilitate,
complete and manage the Ajaokuta Steel Company, following President Olusegun
Obasanjo's approval to terminate an earlier concession with SOLGAS Energy of
"Minister of Power and Steel, Senator Liyel Imoke, signed on behalf of the
Federal Government, while the Chairman of Global Infrastructure, Mr. Pramod
Mittel, endorsed the documents on behalf of his company.
"Under the agreement, Ajaokuta Steel Company is expected to produce 1.3m
metric tonnes of liquid steel per annum, with the possibility of increasing its
capacity to 1.5m metric tonnes.
The new managers of Ajaokuta Steel Company have been in the business of Iron
and Steel, metals, minerals and infrastructure for over 5 decades.
"With headquarters in India, ISPAT is currently operating steel plants in
Lybia, Bosnia, Philippines and Bulgaria.
Owing to grace concern expressed by Government and stakeholders in the steel
sector, the Federal Government and SOLGAS Energy of America had agreed mutually
to terminate the concession agreement, which came into being 13 months ago.
"Solgas had been unable to mobilise funds and fulfil its obligation since the
commencement of the concession.
Commenting on this latest development, the Honourable Minister of Power and
Steel, Senator Liyel Imoke, expressed his confidence with ISPAT Group as a
result of its global experience with integrated steel business.
He observed that the company had potentials, financial capability and
technical expertise required to effectively operate the Ajaokuta Steel Company
steel for the first time before the end of 2005.
He expected that the new managers would make all efforts to meet the
expectations and yearnings of Nigerians with full cooperation and support of the
Ministry of Power and Steel and its officials, in the nation's bid to realise
the spirit and content of the concession agreement.
"ISPAT in handling language means steel;
In the past 5 decades, ISPAT has emerged as a resilient organisation with its
core competence in steel-making, raw material sourcing, trading and logistics
"Its manpower base of over 5000 engineers, technicians and management experts
from various disciplines, form the backbone of the group, giving it the
cultivate edge to continue to expand its presence across the globe.
Some of the acting steel plants taken over by ISPAT and later turned around
include the Rolling Mill at Kalkota, the Iron and Steel Company of Trinidad and
Tobago, Sedimical Del Balsar SA, Mexico. ISPAT also increased steel plant
capacity in Canada, Germany and Ireland.
Ajaokuta Steel Modifications to Slash Material Inputs By $190m
May 11, 2004
MODIFICATIONS of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL)
is expected to drastically reduce the annual cost of material input by $190
million (N26.03 billion), with additional savings of $30 million (N4.11 billion)
in replacement of dollars with naira.
Senator Liyel Imoke, the Minister of Power and Steel made
the disclosure at a press briefing in Abuja recently, while explaining the
progress on the implementation of the concession agreement with Solgas Energy
over the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The concession agreement with Solgas is expected to
incorporate pulverised coal injection facilities in the blast furnace and this
is expected to reduce importation of coking coke by 50 per cent.
The minister also disclosed that a feasibility of an Iron
Carbide Plant for the Ajaokuta Steel Company is currently being studied and it
is expected that when implemented it will increase the annual output of the
plant from 1.35 metric tonnes to 1.8 metric tones per annum.
"This will also reduce scrap importation in addition to
the production of high quality steel. New organisational plans for the ASCL are
being established to include formulation of statutes of authority, corporate
policy and procedural manual," he said.
On the current state of the ASCL's power plant, the
minister said that Solgas Energy has signed a contract agreement with Powerworks
Limited for the reactivation, expansion and operation of the Thermal Power
Highlights of the concession agreement between Solgas and
the Federal Government includes:
rehabilitation, completion, commissioning and operation of
the Ajaokuta Steel Plant;
expansion and increase in the production capacity of ASP
from 1.3 metric tonnes per year to 2.6 metric tonnes per year;
build a gas processing plant to supply Liquefied Petroleum
Gas (LPG) for electric power generation;
provide additional electric power generation capacity of
effect the completion, refurbishment and development of
the steel township; and complete the balance of the civil engineering works.
Senator Imoke also disclosed that the Federal Government
had constituted a monitoring committee for the implementation of the concession
agreement between both parties in line with the provisions of Article 13.
On the rehabilitation of the Delta Steel Company Limited,
the minister said the plant is at various stages of completion, adding that the
rolling mill is almost complete and that cold testing of the spares and
equipment is on.
"Materials required to rehabilitate the steel melting shop
have been fully delivered to the plant site, awaiting installation. Water
supply, air separation plant, heavy-duty equipment, energy distribution are also
nearing completion," he disclosed.
He recalled that the Federal Government had granted import
duty waiver and expatriate quota in line with Article 5.4 of the rehabilitation
agreement with Messrs Voest-Alpine Industrial Services (VAIS) of Austria and
Osaka Steels Limited (OSL).
Senator Imoke also said the Federal Government had also
provided letters of credit in favour of VAIS-OSL valued at $45 million for the
purchase of spare parts and equipment.
The rehabilitation of the plant is expected to gulp $100
million while another $40 million is required for take-off as working capital.
In conformity with World Bank standard, the minister said
the contract with both companies had been reviewed and a new agreement signed
with OSL, while that of VAIS is yet to be signed.
"The management team is working to re-invigorate the steel
plant by reactivating some of the units (the Lime plant, Sodium Silicate plant
and Foundry), which were not encumbered by the rehabilitation contract.
Reactivation of the Lime plant through in-house effort was
completed and the plant commenced production on November 17, 2003," he said.
Stakeholders Chide Imoke Over Steel Sector
Daily Trust (Abuja)
April 30, 2004
Power and Steel minister Liyel Imoke has come under attack
from angry steel experts for not highlighting activities of the sector during
his ministry's annual media briefing on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Imoke, at
the briefing in Abuja, focused solely on the power sector, with only a brief
mention of the steel sector.
But, Dr. Sanusi Mohammed, Secretary-general of the African
Iron and Steel Association (AISA), who reacted to the situation, in an interview
with NAN in Abuja, described it as "pitiably unfortunate."
"It is an unfortunate thing really. Stakeholders in the
steel sector have been urging government to create separate ministries for power
and steel so that the steel industry can have a minister for once.
"That the minister did not have anything to say about the
steel sector only confirms our stand. Government has no interest in steel, even
when it is the bedrock of any industrialisation and has a lot to offer the
ordinary Nigerian," he said.
The AISA scribe said that by his action, Imoke had denied
Nigerians the right to know what was happening to the steel sector, especially
efforts for its privatisation.
Mohammed lamented that Imoke had gone the way of his
predecessors by limiting his focus to the power sector, but said he was not
surprised as the minister was a "natural NEPA man," having headed NEPA's
technical committees for the past five years.
He said that Imoke should have informed Nigerians of the
progress of the $3.6 billion US dollar concessional agreement between the
government and US-based Solgas Energy for the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel
Also deserving mention, he said, were the rehabilitation
efforts on the Delta Steel Council (DSC) and the fate of the Inland steel
rolling companies at Osogbo, Jos and Katsina.
Mohammed said that Imoke should have also told Nigerians
what roles the National Metallurgical Development Centre, Jos, and the
Metallurgical Training Centre, Onitsha, were expected to play in government's
He said that Imoke should also have spoken on government
plans towards exploring locally available raw materials necessary for the
production of steel in ASC, especially dolomite, limestone, refectory clays and
The AISA scribe reiterated AISA's oppostion to the deal
that saw government surrendering ASC to Solgas, because the firm lacked the
technical and financial competence to handle the project.
"When we pointed this out last year, we were called names.
They insisted that ASC would be completed in six months. That agreement is ten
months now with nothing to show. We have indeed been vindicated," he said.
He recalled that the presidency had also expressed anger
with Solgas' poor performance, with President Olusegun Obasanjo conveying such
disappointment in a letter to the firm in January.
"It was after that letter that Solgas started scampering
for working partners and quickly imported some Ukrainians who were expected to
rehabilitate and operate the rolling mills and the light mill section," he
According to him, the Ukrainians were yet to achieve much
because they stopped work after they were not paid and only recently resumed
following the intervention of their embassy.
Solgas Energy And the Steel Industry
Daily Trust (Abuja)
September 25, 2003
Compromising national integrity?
An industry is strategic to a country when the range,
scope and ends-orientation of that industry have a long-term impact on a large
proportion of the people in a manner that may ultimately determine the
socio-cultural and economic well being of the people. Such an industry in any
country usually has Government as the major client, at least initially, and it
is usually the Government that has to bear the responsibility of developing and
sustaining it in the national interest. It is these strategic industries that
motivate the enablement of other industries, directly or indirectly.
In developed nations, strategic industries (during the
nations' 'gestation' years) were finance, energy, intelligence and military. In
later years and to-date, the strategic industries became more with the inclusion
of aerospace and agriculture. These industries are always accorded the highest
priority and the capital intensity of Government participation in them is
considered an issue of national integrity that cannot be compromised and that
should be handled with adeptness, probity, accountability and as transparent as
may be considered necessary. Whenever any strategic industry is threatened in
any way, the nation concerned is usually prepared even to go to war, as history
has evidenced over many generations to-date.
In developing nations, like Nigeria, strategic industries
are finance, Iron and Steel, Coal, energy, oil and gas, military, agriculture,
transportation and communication.
Much as the reality of global information village is
considered a positive trend for all nations, its impact on communities in many
developing nations has certain compounding features. This is particularly so
inasmuch as most still lack necessary Synergy of Infrastructure, Logistics and
Technology, the perspective essence of strategic industries for any nation.
Whenever an industry considered strategic for any nation
is being discouraged under the guise of market globalisation or for whatever
other reason, the motive has to be seen as dishonest. This is the reality faced
by Nigeria's iron and steel industry, Nigerian government and SOLGAS.
SOLGAS and many other companies desire to actively
participate in exploring and developing the potential of Nigeria's gas resources
in line with the positively acclaimed initiative of the Obasanjo administration
to shift the nation's revenue base from oil to gas and agriculture.
SOLGAS, unlike its competitors in the gas industry,
however, is also enticing Nigerian government by claiming to be ready, willing
and able to help re-invigorate Ajaokuta Steel Plant by introducing a 'fast melt'
technology that is to be made viable by creating a unique 'zero gas' situation
in Nigeria's gas industry and deploying this to minimize plant energy costs.
Furthermore, SOLGAS claims that many or all of the gas
stripping plants and storages within the network would be jointly-owned by the
individual state governments involved and Ajaokuta Steel Company, thereby
increasing the overall revenue potential of all the proprietors, SOLGAS
What is immediately obvious from this, if successful, is
that SOLGAS would then become a monopolistic strategic player not only in
Nigeria's gas industry as a gas producer and in the energy industry as an
Independent Power Producer (IPP), but also in Nigeria's iron and steel industry
as a major Convertible Preference Shareholder of the Ajaokuta Steel proposed
conglomerate. In the developed nation where SOLGAS associates came from, such a
situation would be handed over to the Monopoly Commission to look into.
Another, and more dangerous aspect of this to Nigeria's
economic growth, is the opportunity cost of relegating the strategic potential
of the nation's coal industry. In most other countries worldwide, coal industry
is now being encouraged and vigorously promoted, especially since the
once-acclaimed nuclear power plant technology is now becoming increasingly
unsafe - the case of Chernobyl was an example.
Coal, everywhere in the world, is used as a cost-effective
fuel (domestic as well as industrial) and also as a cost-effective reducing
agent in industrial processes (especially Iron and Steel making and Cement
production, to mention a relevant few).
Coal and iron & steel industries are major determinants of
technical and technological know-how/advancement for many nations' economic
growth in real terms owing to their contributions to industrial development,
especially through engendering varied multiplier-effect small and medium scale
It may even be recalled that Nigeria in the late '90s had
an economic plan that indicated the necessity for Nigeria to develop,
nationwide, up to 66 viable mini-cement plants.
It is this cement industry that the SOLGAS deal is, by
omission or commission, compelling Nigerian Government to relegate into
If the Government is not paying One Kobo towards the
development of Ajaokuta Steel Plant in the SOLGAS deal, as it is being claimed,
how is the Ajaokuta Steel Company getting the capital to acquire equity in the
various gas stripping plants, storage plants and the IPPs proposed to be
developed on its behalf by SOLGAS?
If the IPPs are as viable as SOLGAS is claiming (through
selling electricity to NEPA or Government's recently proposed national power
transmission company), why can't the government channel the revenue from such
ventures towards developing the iron and steel plant as should be rightly done
in a transparent manner, privatised or not?
If the participating states are genuinely interested in
revenue-generation, why can't such states singly or jointly solicit joint
venture with interested foreign parties to develop those solid mineral deposits
in a manner that ensures invigorated and sustainable revenue generation?
Nigeria's steel industry was earmarked for development by
the federal government in the early '70s with the creation of the defunct
National Steel Development Authority (NSDA) and with the assistance of French
consultants, SOFRESID who conducted various studies and appraisals particularly
on material requirement for developing the industry.
An integrated plan was eventually approved by the Gowon
administration, which also approved Ajaokuta's Preliminary and also Detailed
Project Reports, prepared by TiajPromExport (TPE) of defunct USSR.
In later years, during General Obasanjo's Administration
came the development of Aladja Steel Plant and the inland rolling mills in
Osogbo, Jos and Katsina.
The integrated plan, at that time, was prioritised as
1. TiajPromExport (TPE), as the main Contractor was to
bring in LengiProMez et al to supply and install all plant and equipment
including technological know-how to cover the entire plant, comprising Coke
Ovens, Thermal Power Plant, Machine. Shop, Rolling Mills, Sintering Plant, Blast
Furnace, etc as an integrated full-fledged steel plant, like those already built
by same Contractors in Algeria, Egypt and India. Ajaokuta's first phase of 1.3
million tonnes, yearly had to also accommodate the billet needs of all the
inland rolling mills and some stock needs of Aladja Plant.
II. The rail line from Itakpe to Warri, the dredging of
Onne Port and other infrastructure development were to be concurrently
undertaken within specified project periods to enable the timely commissioning
of Ajaokuta plant. These were also to ensure the readiness of the vital logistic
network to sustain the entire industry, which included the then-proposed Aladja
Steel Plant and inland rolling mills.
III. Extensive training programmes to develop needed
skills and other human resources were to be conducted in Zaporodje, Ukraine, and
also in collaboration with Steel Authority of India in different Indian Steel
Plants such as in Bhilai, Roukella and Dugapur. Even some specialised programmes
were carried out in Ranchi with .MECON.
IV. The beneficiation of Itakpe haematite ore into almost
magnetite quality was to be embarked upon in order to be assured of high-yield
aggregate from the Sintering Plant into the Blast Furnace. It must be noted that
Itakpe ore beneficiation was not even contemplated for use in Aladja's
Direct-reduction process, a technology yet unproven to be viable even in Germany
where it was developed. It was much later when the bitter pill of forex drain
from pellet importation was swallowed that Aladja process had to be adapted to
accept the beneficiated ore, albeit at a considerable loss in yield.
V. Finally, the commissioning of Ajaokuta Steel Plant was
to be based on a backward integration strategy of starting with 100% imported
billets to ease norms-development of the mills for varied gestation yields of
the blast furnace before phasing out billet importation necessity.
This entire plan was frustrated and eventually stifled to
death, by omission. and commission, by federal government policies over a period
of two and a half decades:
The ill-timed, lopsided and politically-motivated
development of Aladja Steel plant and the inland rolling mills at Osogbo, Jos
and Katsina instead of, first, concentrating upon and completing all
infrastructure and logistic network for enabling the entire industry in
conformity with the integrated plan contributed to frustrating the plan.
So did the deliberate dismantling of the integrated
concept of the Ajaokuta Steel project by, first, separating some aspects
(particularly of the civil works) from the TPE Contract to contractors from
other countries considered more favourable and well suited to Western interests.
In later years, the dismantling of the integrated concept
was further worsened by systematic, diversified continual exploitation of
various completed parts of Ajaokuta plant (such as Oxygen plant, Machine Shop
and others) to an extent that diffused that integrated concept to a state of
total loss of strategic focus.
The invigorated importation of billets by privileged
groups to exploit the rolling mills in a value-depleting manner, supported with
all kinds of inept conversion formulae out of consonance with the economic
viability of the plant. Indeed, this billet importation policy was what
gradually constructed a 'national coffin' for Ajaokuta Steel plant whose
commissioning would have eventually killed the moneymaking billet importation
drives of the privileged groups. This billet importation policy also caused the
subjugation of Nigeria's steel professionals who could only depend on meagre and
irregular earnings in contrast to the maximised return-on investment being
inequitably reaped by the billet importing privileged groups.
Thus it can be seen that this unpatriotic game plan
blurred the view of the average Nigerian and depleted the faith of most in the
concept of Ajaokuta, which by then was increasingly being regarded a white
elephant that might never see the light of day.
Much more damaging, perhaps, is that the unfortunate game
plan also blinded the perspective of various communities (especially in the
states directly involved) from the positive impact towards progress that
Ajaokuta Steel Plant should have on their daily lives and quality of life in
With the developing world still bracing itself for the
implications of GATS (World Trade Organisation's General Agreements on 1-1rade
in Services) on the chances for societally-harmonious economic growth of their
communities, issues of strategic projects of developmental nature like Ajaokuta
need very careful and in-depth considerations which should be kept outside the
realm of demagogues, frivolous arbitrage profiteers and capital market
Ajaokuta Steel Plant and Itakpe Ore Plant both form the
real 'spinal cord' of Nigeria's basic industrial development and must be
accorded that recognition so as not to blur the prospects of their
multiplier-effects particularly in Nigeria's service industries that may be
blighted by GATS.
It should be noted that GATS is aimed at increasing trade
in services globally without necessarily ensuring social equity or elevated
quality of life as have already been achieved in developed economies where
Synergy of Infrastructure, Logistics & Technology (SILT) is prevalent,
continually sustained and geared for enhancement.
Hence, any project like Ajaokuta Steel Plant, which
directly impacts on the development of infrastructure, logistics and technology
in a nation like Nigeria, which still lacks synergy of these contributors to
economic growth, is bound to have many services of relevance to its viability
subjugated by GATS, if structurally defective in its national operating
Indeed, Ajaokuta is fast. becoming a Nigerian classic case
in which domestic sovereignty is not the crucial issue but that public interest
for sustainable economic growth is being overridden by objectives that further
trade between IPPs (Independent Power Producers) and NEPA or the proposed
national power-transmission company, irrespective of where IPP related services
(including know-how, human resource deployment, etc) are categorised in relation
to Nigeria's Schedule of Specific Commitments under GATS.
The present administration should seriously consider the
development of Ajaokuta Steel Plant as an issue of national integrity that
should never be compromised by shelving government responsibility under the
guise of privatisation or misguided globalisation. The SOLGAS and similar deals
have enormous regrettable inter-generational consequences for all concerned. The
end does not justify the means in this particular case of Ajaokuta Steel Plant
vis-a-vis Nigeria's industrial future.
Godwin A. Adeogba, a steel engineer and research
analyst wrote from Abuja
Historical Background of Steel Industry in Nigeria
Weekly Trust (Kaduna)
July 19, 2003
The realisation by the government that steel is the
bedrock of industrialisation made the country to restructure its priorities in
the 60's. The history of the steel industry in Nigeria dates back to 1958 when
the first market surveys on the sub-sector were commissioned.
Between 1962 and 1983 the country passed through some
important milestones which were known as the development plans. The steel
project finally took off in the 80's during the fourth development plan when the
Jos, Katsina, Oshogbo and the Delta Steel/Rolling Mills were all commissioned
The commissioning of these projects were results of
several feasibility studies carried out by foreign experts beginning from 1970.
In 1970 Tiajpromexport of the former USSR was commissioned to undertake
geological surveys in anticipation for the steel/projects and a year later the
National Steel/Development Authority under decree 19 to coordinate
steel/projects in the country was established.
The contract for the Ajaokuta Steel/Company was finally
awarded in 1979 during the Alhaji Shehu Shagari administration after reports on
the selection of the site was accepted by the Gowon administration in 1975 for
the company to produce a blast furnace based steel plant.
However, with the exception of Ajaokuta, other steel
companies such as Delta, Katsina, Jos and Oshogbo were all being commissioned
over two decades ago. The intention of government to give priority to the
industrial sector was to support other sectors such as energy and agriculture
which were the major sources of Nigeria's economic growth in the 50's and 0's.
There was a sluggish growth of the economy beginning from
the 60's coupled with limited foreign exchange earnings from exports and as
cocoa and cotton. This however informed the vigorous insurance policy in the
industrial sector along with other projects like pulp and paper mills,
automobile assembly plants, machine tools, cement factories, fertilizer plants
all in the public sector.
But then, about half a century has passed with some of
these projects yet to see the light of the day. The Ajaokuta Steel Company
Limited has become a political issue with successive government with Little or
nothing to complete and commission this vital projects which has gulped billions
of naira without producing a single product.
Inspite of the huge amount of money so far spent on the
Ajaokuta project, the present administration has been brainwashed that the steel
project is no longer viable and owned only be a waste.
Perhaps, the government, working on the IMF/World Bank
assertion has now decided to shift attention from steel production to power
generation situation experts believe will mark the end of a once good dream to
The Ajaokuta Steel Company unlike its counterpart in Delta
in an integrated blast furnace producer of bars, shapes and medium structural
with planned capacity of 1.3 million tonnes per year. However, the estimated
tonnes per year from Delta and Ajaokuta is 2.2 million tonnes while the three
satellite inland rolling mills located at Oshogbo, Katsina and Jos were expected
to produce 210,000 tonnes per year. Their major products are, bars and billets
supplied by Delta Steel.
As at 1987, the federal government had spent over five
billion naira on the Ajaokuta, Delta, Jos, Katsina and Oshogbo projects while
well out the same amount has been expended between 1988 and 1998.
Government has always claimed that the steel industry is
facing problems because of the economic downturn brought about by the drastic
drop in world oil prices. Again, authorities claim that the steel industry is
undergoing through a tremendous upheaval worldwide but critics believe the
problem is lack of political will by the successive regimes.
Critics argue that while Asia is gradually taking over the
technology market globally, African countries have refused to be over dependent
on western countries through their IMF/World Bank projects which further
compound African problems.
Recently, the IMF/World Bank stooges evaluated the
Ajaokuta project and concluded that it is not liable. According to their
reports, the steel project showed be converted to power generation. Based on
this western report, the federal government signed an agreement with an American
energy firm SOLGAS which is to takeover the affairs of the Ajaokuta Steel
There are those who see this unpatriotic act by the
government as mortgaging Nigeria's technology to the Americans who have insisted
long before now that Ajaokuta Steel is no longer fashionable. The agreement with
SOLGAS has therefore raised a lot of questions from experts who believe the new
firm has no technical expertise and the financial where withal to complete the
Most experts believe that there are a lot in the contract
than meets the eye. Another important aspect is the issue of the Russians who
have been handling the contract since 1979. What will be their position now in
this arrangement? Can the Americans work side by side with the Russians? Will
the Russians surrender their technological expertise? And most importantly, will
the IMF/World Bank be happy to see the Russians in Ajaokuta without feeling
Whatever happens, the dream of Nigeria to have a reliable
steel industry which can compete with its counterparts worldwide is still going
to remain an illusion. It is sad that what began with a lot of zeal and hope is
now becoming yet another disaster. The quest to catch up with the Asian Tigers
seems not feasible.
Nigeria will continue to remain a jumping ground for
western products. Africa has been a guinea pig where any new product no matter
its negative effects on the African economy is shipped to the continent.
The Ajaokuta Steel project which has been still-born may
still remain still-born just because our leaders have lost foresight and have
become collaborators of the IMF/World Bank. The Ajaokuta steel project is a
If Asian countries like Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Taiwan, Thailand, India and a host of others can go industrialised why not the
so-called African giant? I believe, Alhaji Shehu Shagari must be a sad man today
seeing his pet project going down the drain.
Twitter Comments About this Article ...