The Federal Government has said that the $1.5bn steel plant that is nearing completion in Kaduna State will attract automobile industries to Nigeria when completed.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this during an inspection tour of the African Natural Resources and Mines, an African Industries Group company in Kaduna.
The minister, who spoke on Saturday while inspecting the plant, said the facility would produce one million metric tonnes of steel annually and would help put an end to the importation of the commodity into Nigeria.
Ahmed said, “We have deliberately attracted various industries to come into Nigeria. This is because one of the main impediments to industrialisation has been the scarcity of high quality steel.
“So 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.”
Ahmed described the African Natural Resources and Mines group as major partner for Nigeria’s economic development and diversification.
“There’s no country in the world that will be industrialised without having a stable steel industry. Your partnership with us as government means we are very much on the side to meet the aspiration of industrialising Nigeria,” she said.
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.
He said, “This investment in the long term will dramatically increase domestic steel production. We are capable of producing over one million metric tonnes in a year.
“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 also stated that the steel company supported the Federal Government in the fight against COVID-19 by donating N1.35bn to help curb the spread of the virus.