President Muhammadu Buhari has said that $400m spent by his administration to “transform” the Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State will add $1.6bn annual income to the Nigerian economy and create over 500,000 estimated jobs.
He said this in Okene, Kogi on Thursday, during a one-day state visit.
He said, “I am glad to report that as we begin to round off in office, we can genuinely say that our administration has rescued Ajaokuta from all legal disabilities.
“It is now ready for concessioning to a private investor with the right profiles to put it to work for Nigeria in general and Kogi State in particular.”
Buhari said that no other single project holds the key to unlocking the potential of the state as much as the Ajaokuta Steel Complex which his administration inherited as a long moribund complex “strangulating under a tangle of local and international commercial disputes”.
His speech was contained in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.
According to the statement, Buhari said that he considered the huge amount spent on the Ajaokuta Steel Complex as a money well-spent.
“The process has cost this Federal Government over 400m US Dollars so far, but I consider it money well spent as we move closer to achieving our objective of transforming Kogi State into Nigeria’s iron and steel powerhouse.
“The benefits of getting Ajaokuta Steel Complex working again are numerous. It would provide over 500,000 estimated jobs and more than $1.6 billion in annual income to the Nigerian economy. Nigerians can rest assured that I remain committed to seeing this process.”
Buhari, who was welcomed by Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, also spoke of the determination of his administration to position the state as an industrial hub as well as a solid mineral power base.
During the state-visit, the President commissioned the Reference Hospital Okene, the new Ohinoyi’s Palace at Okene, the Ganaja Junction Flyover and interchange at Lokoja, the Muhammadu Buhari Square (Civic Centre) in Lokoja, amongst others.