Nigerian authorities are in a dilemma; cut their losses by shutting down the steel mills or raise fresh funding to revive idle steel mills.
Despite heavy government investment, steel mills in Ajaokuta, Katsina, and Aladja have remained non-operational failing to enable Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in steel production.
For instance, Ajaokuta steel company has gobbled $4.6 billion (KSh473 billion) funded by Russian Aid and has not produced a single bar of steel in four decades.
The company’s administrator said that they required $400 million (KSh41 billion) for completion of the facility while a team of Nigerian and Ukrainian experts recently declared that the plant requires an additional $653 million (KSh67 billion).
Ajaokuta mismanagement woes coupled with failed attempts to privatize have meant that the mill remains non-operational.
The irony is that successive governments have always conducted audits with the current Muhammadu Buhari’s government already sanctioning two audits. The government continues to pay salaries and pensions at the steel mills.
The idle steel mills could begin production in 2023 said Abdullahi Halims, chairperson of the House of Representatives’ committee on steel.