After Nigeria imported iron, steel and metals worth N837.761 billion in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, steelmakers are sceptical about the planned concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, throughout a six-month period, Africa’s most populous country imported basic metals, iron, and steel products with a width of 6000mm, rolled, painted, varnished, and plastic-coated.
Imports of basic metal goods totalled N748.529 billion in the first two quarters, compared to N88.232 billion for iron and steel.
This comes after the Nigerian Manufacturers Association calculated that the country had already spent more than $8 billion on the idle steel facility.
Meanwhile, the volume of steel imports into the country, as well as the lack of functionality of Ajaokuta Steel Company and the Aluminium Smelter Company, both of which are located in Akwa Ibom State, are causing concern among key stakeholders in the steel industry.
A former Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Steel Group and Chief Executive Officer of Qualitec Industries, Oluyinka Kufile, said, “They should tell us who imported the steel products because some people claim that they are producing but are simply importing.”
Oluyinka Kufile lambasted the Federal Government for keeping Ajaokuta Steel for a long time without handing it over to competent managers and expressed reservations about the steel plant’s planned concession.
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