The Federal Government has inaugurated the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team aimed at realising the economic diversification agenda of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, is the chairman of the team while the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, is the Alternate Chairman.
Inaugurating the committee, the SGF said that it was the desire of the government to industrialise the country within a diversified economy.
He said, “The Ajaokuta Steel plant has languished in economic unproductivity for about four decades, and previous efforts at reviving it had proved abortive. This has resulted in avoidable massive foreign exchange losses at intolerable opportunity cost to the country.
“The pressing need to redress these avoidable challenges has necessitated this presidential intervention at this time. This is further underscored by difficulties being witnessed with present challenges in the global oil industry.”
The SGF said it was the focus of the regime to make Ajaokuta steel West Africa’s largest fully integrated steel producer and most importantly, to accelerate industrialisation in steel-related industries.
He added that the government placed a lot of value on the diversification of the economy, hence, the President’s participation at the Russia/Africa summit in Sochi, Russia, hosted by his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.
Mustapha pointed out that the Ajaokuta Steel Project would “be resuscitated on the basis of a Government-to-Government agreement with funding from the Afrexim bank and the Russian Export Centre”.