The Minister of Defence Mohammed Badaru Abubakar has said that the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will revitalize and reposition Ajaokuta Steel Company to produce military hardware to support the fight against insecurity in the country.
The minister disclosed this when he received the Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu and the Managing Director of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Sumaila Abdul Akaba, at his office in Abuja.
Badaru said that Ajaokuta Steel Company was known for the local production of military hardware and that there was a need to partner with Ministry of Steel Development because steel 90 per cent of what is required for the production of military hardware.
He said that strengthening the company to produce military hardware instead of relying on foreign production would boost the nation’s fight against insurgency and other related crimes.
“Local production of military hardware is critical because the crisis we have in the country at present will not allow us rely on other countries for military hardware,” he said.
To actualize the revitalization of the company, the minister has directed that a Technical Committee be set up to determine what to produce, the raw materials to use, cost of reviving the production centre as well as sources of funding.
He urged the Permanent Secretary, Director- General of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, DICON, and the Managing- Director of Ajaokuta Steel Company as members of the Technical Committee to work vigorously and ambitiously and come up with a report on the way forward in two weeks time.
In his remark, the Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, said that reviving Ajaokuta Steel would be a game changer for the Nigerian industrial sector and the economy as a whole.
He noted that, due to paucity of funds, production was stalled. “But I believe that if initiatives are put in place, Ajaokuta Steel will be revived and work will resume within the first four years of the Present Bola Tinubu’s administration,” he added.