Posted by Grace Obike, Abuja | 30 June 2018 | 1,498 times
Russia has declared its interest in re-investing in the Nigerian steel sector.
Acting Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Abubakar Bwari, said that Russia was part of the Soviet Union when Nigeria’s dream of steel independence began with the Ajaokuta plant even though it is yet to be realized.
He said that very soon, all the issues surrounding some of the country’s national assets will soon be resolved.
The Minister spoke in Abuja while receiving the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Alexey Shebarshin.
His words, “I am sure the Russians will not be surprised when we talk of mining in Nigeria because of our history and relationship, Russia was part of the Soviet Union that had a good economic relationship with Nigeria that led to the establishment of Ajaokuta Steel Plant, unfortunately the objectives of the plant is yet to be realized but I believe that with the renewed attention to the sector and this relationship we are about to start again, we believe the dreams are realizable.
“And very soon, Ajaokuta will come back to life again and I believe that we have the political will to do just that. Russia was also involved in the Aluminum Smelting Company in Ikot Abasi. The issues surrounding it are almost being resolved and I have received an update from BPE and I believe that we are on the part of getting it right again.
“All the issues surrounding some of these important national assets are almost resolved and I believe that our relationship with Russia will not stop with these one or two plants. The ambassador discussed a company that was in Nigeria from 1968-1983 that has shown interest in coming back to Nigeria to continue what they started in the area of geological survey and they want us to invite them very soon to come to Nigeria.
“The ambassador has said that his mission is to improve the country’s relationship with Russia particularly in the area of economic development. We will like to discuss further on this and if necessary go over there.”
The Ambassador in his speech said, “Before coming to Abuja, I met with Russian officials and private companies that want to cooperate with Nigeria on Solid Minerals, one of such company is a Russian mineral deposits prospecting company, JSC Zarubezhgeologia who has declared its interest in working with the solid minerals sector.” (The Nation)
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