Nigeria Revives $2 Billion Ajaokuta Steel Mill Project with Russian Firm

Nigeria's government is negotiating with a Russian consortium to revive the $2 billion Ajaokuta steel mill, a key step in its industrialization agenda under President Tinubu. The project's revival holds significant economic potential for Nigeria.

Ebenezer Mensah
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Nigeria Revives $2 Billion Ajaokuta Steel Mill Project with Russian Firm

Nigeria Revives $2 Billion Ajaokuta Steel Mill Project with Russian Firm

The Nigerian government, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has initiated discussions with the Russian firm Tyazhpromexport (TPE) to revive the $2 billion Ajaokuta steel mill project. The Honourable Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, met with a consortium led by TPE, which includes Novostal and Nigeria's Proforce, to discuss a blueprint for the revival of the steel plant.

The Ajaokuta steel plant was originally 98% completed with Soviet assistance by 1994 but has remained inactive for years. Minister Audu plans to visit Moscow to engage in further discussions with TPE and other consortium partners to secure the required funding of about $2 billion for the revitalization of the entire steel plant. "We are committed to working together to drive Nigeria's industrialization through the steel sector," stated Audu during the meeting.

The initiative aligns with President Tinubu's Renewed Hope Agenda, which prioritizes the rejuvenation of the steel sector and aims to industrialize Nigeria before the end of his first term. The Russian Embassy in Nigeria has commended the potential partnership and expressed optimism in the government's vision to revive the Ajaokuta steel plant.

Why this matters: The revival of the Ajaokuta steel mill project holds significant potential for Nigeria's economic growth and industrialization. As the largest steel plant in West Africa, a fully operational Ajaokuta complex could reduce Nigeria's dependence on imported steel and create numerous job opportunities in the country.

The meeting between Minister Audu and the Russian consortium was facilitated by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria. Sergei Egorov, the General Director of TPE, expressed excitement about the partnership, noting that the plant is still in a state of possible resuscitation. The deputy head of the Russian Embassy in Nigeria also highlighted that this is the first time since the Shehu Shagari Administration in 1979 that a Nigerian government is showing great political will in getting the steel plant operational again.

Key Takeaways

  • Nigeria in talks with Russia's TPE to revive $2B Ajaokuta steel mill
  • Ajaokuta plant 98% complete in 1994 but inactive for years; $2B needed
  • Reviving Ajaokuta aligns with Tinubu's agenda to industrialize Nigeria
  • Russian Embassy supports partnership, first such effort since 1979
  • Operational Ajaokuta could reduce Nigeria's steel imports, create jobs