Ukraine eyes Ajaokuta Steel Company


Foreign investors are ready to inject $2.6bn in the company

Investors from Ukraine are ready to inject $2.6 billion (about N421 billion) to reactivate the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Serhii Khanenko, said on Tuesday in Abuja.

Khanenko made this known when he led a delegation of investors from his country to visit the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Sada.

“The purpose of their visit is to explore areas of partnership with the Nigerian government in the development of its solid mineral resources,” Khanenko said, expressing hope that the project would be given to the Ukrainian government.

Responding, Sada said the Federal Government was poised to remove the bottlenecks in the privatisation of the steel industry.

He added that President Goodluck Jonathan had given timelines on all outstanding issues affecting the nation?s steel industry, to ensure that it is moved forward.

Sada said Ajaokuta Steel Company and National Iron Ore Mining Company were being handled as integrated plants that must work together for optimum benefits. 

According to him, government was working to ensure that the interests of various stakeholders were represented, to ensure that Nigeria?s steel industry was developed.

“The present administration is determined to tackle all critical issues impeding the successful privatisation of the nation?s steel industry,” he said.

“We need a clearer business model for the project, including cash flow.”

Sada said previous attempts to privatise the steel industry failed due to a lack of proper input from the ministries and other stakeholders.

Yergency Kazik, President, Ukrainian National Foreign Economic Corporation, said they were ready to reactivate Ajaokuta Steel Company to its optimum level.

He invited the minister and his management team to visit Ukraine to assess the operations of their companies.

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