L- R Mr Xiao Weizham, Chief Executive Officer, Luan Steel Holding Group, Dr Mary Ogbe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Steel Development, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru, Honorable Minister of Defence and Security, Mr Wang Jianbing, Chairman, Luan Steel Holding Group, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, Honorable Minister of Steel Development, Mr Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, Sole Administrator, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited
at Luan Steel Plant in Hefei, Anhui Province, China, recently.
By Palma Ileye
As part of efforts to industrialise Nigeria through the Steel industry, the Federal Government has commenced discussions with renowned Chinese Company, Luan Steel Holding Group to build a new Steel Plant in Nigeria and commence the building of military hardwares in Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
According to the Ministry’s press release, this formed the crux of the visit by a delegation of the Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Dr. Mary A Ogbe in their tour of Luan Steel Holding Group in Hefei and Guangzhou Regions of China.
Audu in the statement issued on Thursday 4th of January 2024, stated that the trip to China was one of the steps being taken to realise the goals of reviving the Steel Industry in Nigeria in line with the ‘Renewed Hope’ Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
According to him, work has commenced to create an operational Steel Industry that would attract billions of dollars of foreign direct investments into the country, open up the nation’s economy, and create hundred of thousands of job opportunities, which form the core of the renewed hope agenda.
He further noted that building Military Hardwares in Ajaokuta Steel Plant was also timely, considering that Nigeria is faced with security challenges. Adding that, this would help in the fight against insecurity and terrorism.
He also said, “We had very meaningful discussions with the Chairman of Luan Steel Holding Group, Mr Wang Jianbing, the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr Xiao Weizhan, and other senior Executives of the Luan Steel Holding Group.
“Like several other international and local investors, Luan Steel Holding Group has indicated interest in setting up a new Steel Plant in Nigeria, as well as handling a component of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for building military hardwares in Nigeria.
“The Minister of Defence and I led this delegation, which includes the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Dr Mary Ogbe, Sole Administrator/Managing Director of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Mr Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, to enable us have a first-hand look at the Luan steel plants before arriving at a decision.”
The Minister added that, “With all the commitments on ground, we are optimistic that before the end of President Tinubu’s administration, we will commence commercial Steel Production in some of the government owned entities in Nigeria.”