NIGERIA – Nigeria’s minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has said that the new US$1.5 billion steel plant will produce enough iron to address the country’s need thus reducing the need to import the product.

The Nigerian minister further noted that upon completion, the steel plant being constructed by the African Natural Resources and Mines will attract automobile industries to Nigeria.

The minister made these statements during an inspection tour of the steel manufacturing plant in Kaduna.

African Natural Resources and Mines, the project proprietor, is part of the African Industries Group company in Kaduna.

M/s Zainab Ahmed said the facility would produce one million metric tonnes of steel annually, helping put an end to the importation of the commodity into Nigeria.

Zainab noted that one of the main impediments to industrialisation in Nigeria has been the scarcity of high-quality steel.

Nigeria has annual steel demand of 6.8 million metric tons. It is however only able to locally produce 1/3rd of its demand mainly from recycling of scrap ion.

Nigeria is however looking for investments of US$7 billion in mining and steel over the next decade as it seeks to develop gold and iron ore extraction industries to diversify its oil-dependent economy.

“By this project we are now assured that we can attract the auto industries of the world to come into Nigeria and produce cars in Nigeria for Nigerians, as well as for the region.”

Zainab Ahmed – Nigerian Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning

Ahmed described the African Natural Resources and Mines group as major partner for Nigeria’s economic development and diversification.

The Group Managing Director, African Industry Group, Alok Gupta, said the firm would be mining iron ore to produce Direct Reduced Iron, which would enable the company produce a higher-grade steel more efficiently.

Gupta further revealed that in the investment in the long term will dramatically increase domestic steel production.

“We are proud to be part of the looming steel revolution in Nigeria. Having invested over $1.5bn, we are hopeful that the expected steel revolution will have multiplier effects on the Nigerian economy,” Gupta explained.

Gupta also stated that the steel company was supporting the Federal Government in the fight against COVID-19 by donating N1.35bn to help curb the spread of the virus.

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