The newly appointed Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu, has said resuscitating the ailing Ajaokuta Steel Company is a priority for his administration.
The company, which has been out of production for the past thirty-five years, was part of President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s (retd.), mandate.
Buhari had said resuscitating the steel company would enable it to generate employment for the nation’s teeming youths and create wealth, even though, it never started under his regime.
However, Audu, sworn-in on Monday, reaffirmed his commitment to restoring the company while unveiling his programs to journalists in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
According to him, the focus of his administration includes: setting a roadmap for the development of the steel sector, aggressively pursuing Ajaokuta steel, and enacting required bills to regulate the steel sector, among others.
He said, “Our past leaders recognised the importance of steel development but lacked the political will to achieve its objectives.
“The steel development is synonymous with the Ajaokuta Steel plant, whose commencement has been over 40 years ago. We aim to start the engine and ensure that we produce at least a small sheet of steel within this administration.
“It is a known fact that steel is the bedrock of any nation’s-development; if gotten right, it may be the beginning of our industrial revolution.”
Speaking further, Audu disclosed that the creation of the ministry underscores President Bola Tinubu’s mandate in pursuing the nation’s overall development.