'Why Ajaokuta steel coy should not be abandoned'


Ajaokuta steel plant

By Francisca Oluyole

Reviving Ajaokuta Steel Company the steel company will be the best option for Nigeria’s development, Prof. Linus Asuquo, Director-General, National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC) has said.

Speaking to journalists on Monday in Abuja, Asuquo noted that lots of money had been spent on the construction of the magnificent Complex, while abandoning it would be suicidal.

“We should not play with Ajaokuta Steel Company; I think a lot of politics has been played on it over the years, the amount spent on importation of metals on yearly basis by Nigeria is huge.

“We are spending billions of naira to import metals being used for our railway construction, if we have Ajaokuta steel company working, there will be no need importing steel.

He said that the company could create massive jobs for the youth, generate power for the country, among others if revived.

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He also said that materials such as iron ore for producing steel were available across the country in large quantum.

Asuquo said that coal and iron ore needed for iron making had been researched by NMDC, adding that only foreign coal would be needed to blend with Nigeria coal for steel making.

“Coal is one of the materials needed for iron making and lots of research have been done on that by the centre.

“Unfortunately, even though we have coal in abundance such as Enugu coal, our coal are not prime for coking coal being used for steel making; what I mean is that we cannot have 100 per cent coke from our coal.

“From our research, we can blend Lafia Obi coal with imported coal for our coke for steel production.

“I will not agree with some Nigerians that said that our blast furnace for steel production is now obsolete; it can still produce steel; Russia and India are still using blast furnace, we can modify it into sections to function adequately.

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