Photo caption: President Bola Tinubu
Tinubu administration names two industries to revive to improve Nigeria’s fortunes
Vice President Kashim Shettima has said his attendance at the Africa-Russia Summit is to pursue the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and revival of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON).
He said this late Friday evening in St Petersburg at a forum with members of the Nigerian community in Russia.
The vice president assured the Nigerian community in Russia that the country under the administration of President Bola Tinubu would work again.
Shettima said, “Be rest assured that in the next 9 to 12 months there will be a swift change in the fortunes of Nigeria. I am talking with all sense of certainty and responsibility because I believe in the capacity and commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
He emphasised that the administration was committed to repositioning the economy, adding, “We are here for the Africa-Russia Summit, but we are also here fundamentally to pursue the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and revival of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON).
“It is going to be a game changer. Having a vibrant steel industry is a sine qua non for the industrial takeoff of any country. I can promise you that the president will bring Ajaokuta to reality.
“Be rest assured that if there is one legacy that President Tinubu would bequeath to fellow Nigerians, Ajaokuta is one. I will come back to Russia. We are going to drive this process, and my leader, my boss and principal, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is irrevocably committed to Ajaokuta and to ALSCON.
“We have begun the discussion, and we will see to it that these two companies take off; we have no option than to bring them to reality,” Vice President Shettima emphasised.
Present at the forum were Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia, Shehu Abdullahi; permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Gabriel Aduda; permanent secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mrs Mary Ogbe; president of the Nigerian Community in Russia, Dr Maurice Okoli, and the chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora (NIDO), Russia, Mr Sampson Uwem, among others.
Shettima also attended the second edition of the Annual Arts Exhibition of the Nigerian Embassy, titled “I imagine Nigeria,” which showcased art works by young Russian artists in ST Petersburg.
The Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill
The Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill, located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, Nigeria, is the largest steel mill in Nigeria, built on a 24,000 hectares site starting in 1979.12 The project has been mismanaged and remains incomplete 40 years later. Three-quarters of the complex have been abandoned, and only the light rolling mills have been put into operation for small-scale fabrication and the production of iron rods.1 The steelworks have been called the “bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization”. The coke oven and by-products plant are larger than all the refineries in Nigeria combined.2 The steel industrialisation was first embarked on by the Shehu Shagari administration between 1979 and 1983.
Aluminium Company of Nigeria Alscon
Aluminium Company of Nigeria Alscon is the biggest aluminium smelter plant in Africa, located in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom state.
However the moribund company has been enmeshed in ownership tussle, for more than a decade.