Shuaibu Audu, Nigeria’s Minister of Steel Development, has announced plans to meet with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in the coming days to develop strategies to restore the Ajaokuta Steel Company to the national grid.
The meeting will address the disconnection of the steel company by the TCN due to a N33 billion debt owed to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET) and service providers.
Audu expressed the government’s commitment to investigating the high electricity consumption at a company not operating at full capacity. He emphasised the gradual process of reviving Ajaokuta and highlighted the need for support from all relevant government agencies, including the electricity company, to successfully revive the steel plant.
The Minister addressed concerns about outstanding debts, mentioning that the process of reviving Ajaokuta cannot happen overnight. He urged collaboration among government ministries and agencies to overcome challenges and successfully revive the steel plant, emphasising the importance of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for Nigerians through the project.
Audu noted that the MD of Ajaokuta mentioned that a significant portion of the owed money is in interest payments. He expressed the need for coordinated efforts within the government to avoid internal challenges hindering the revival of Ajaokuta.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria had suspended operations at the steel company due to its failure to settle the N33 billion debt owed to NBET and service providers. TCN also threatened to terminate Ajaokuta Steel Company’s Market Participation Agreement if the outstanding debts were not resolved within 30 business days of disconnection.