The Federal Government of Nigeria has initiated discussions with the Chinese firm, Luan Steel Holding Group, for steel development by establishing a new steel plant in Nigeria and commencing the construction of military hardware at the Ajaokuta Steel Plant. This move is part of the government’s broader efforts to industrialise Nigeria through the steel industry.
A delegation consisting of the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu; the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru; and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Mary Ogbe, visited Luan Steel Holding Group in the Hefei and Guangzhou regions of China to explore potential collaborations.
The Ministry of Mines had recently sought N35 billion in funding from financial institutions to revitalise the Ajaokuta Steel Company. It said the collaboration with financial institutions aims to secure optimal financing options to restart the light Steel Mill in Ajaokuta and initiate iron rod production.
Shuaibu Audu, in a statement, emphasised that the trip to China is a significant step in realising the goals of revitalising the steel industry in Nigeria. The ministry envisions creating an operational steel industry that attracts substantial foreign direct investments, stimulates the nation’s economy, and generates numerous job opportunities.
Audu also highlighted the potential role of the Ajaokuta steel plant in producing military hardware, contributing to the country’s efforts in combating insecurity and terrorism. During discussions with Luan Steel Holding Group, interest was expressed in establishing a new steel plant in Nigeria and handling a segment of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for building military hardware.
He said, “We had very meaningful discussions with the Chairman of Luan Steel Holding Group, Mr Wang Jianbing, the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr Xiao Weizhan, and other senior Executives of the Luan Steel Holding Group.
“Like several other international and local investors, Luan Steel Holding Group has indicated interest in setting up a new Steel plant in Nigeria, as well as handling a component of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for building military hardwares in Nigeria.
“The Minister of Defence and I led this delegation, which includes the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Dr Mary Ogbe, Sole Administrator/Managing Director of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Mr Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, to enable us to have a first-hand look at the Luan steel plants before arriving at a decision.”