The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has refuted the claims that the Federal Government plans to hand over the Ajaokuta Steel plant to a British firm for rehabilitation.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, via a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Ayodeji Adeyemi on Monday.
According to the statement, the Minister had never said the plant will be rehabilitated by a British firm.
To correct the false narratives that was carried by some media outlets on Ajaokuta Steel plant and the purported handover to a British firm, Adegbite stated that at no time did he say that the federal government was handing over Ajaokuta to a British firm for rehabilitation.
He said, “Meanwhile, a local company in partnership with a British company has offered to execute the technical audit at no cost to Nigeria and with no preconditions. This was what I said at the media parley at the statehouse and not that Ajaokuta would be handed over to a British company for rehabilitation.”
Adeyemi said, “The minister clarified that a local Nigerian firm with a British partner, had expressed interest in carrying out the TECHNICAL AUDIT for free with no preconditions. The minister pointed out that the federal government had been in discussion with a Russian firm Messrs TPE (nominated by the Russian government) towards conducting the technical audit. The war between Ukraine and Russia has caused a setback to the proposed plan.”
The minister noted that it was difficult to move forward with the Russian firm due to international sanctions placed on Russia, which have also impacted Russian firms and businesses.
Adegbite explained that when the technical audit is completed, the result would be shared with all interested investors and potential partners interested in Ajaokuta Steel Plant resuscitation, which they would use to enter their submission bids.
To ensure that the entire process is transparent, a firm was appointed in 2018 as Transaction Advisor. This firm has been revalidated by the BPP (Bureau of Public Procurement) and will guide and ensure a transparent due process in the selection of the eventual firm for Ajaokuta Steel restoration.
The Transaction Advisor will carry out all financial, environmental and technical due process to establish the successful firm and the mode of engagement. The various bids would then be ranked by the transaction advisor according to merits.
Adegbite noted that the outcome of the transaction advisors work would be taken to the Federal Executive Council for a robust discussion and eventual decision.
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