The Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd. cannot function even if completed, an expert has said. Prof. Benjamin Adewuyi, the former President, Nigerian Metallurgical Society (NMS), who made this assertion to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja, said until government found solution to how raw materials required for the production of steel would be sourced the company would not work.

According to him, National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), which is one of the sources of local raw materials for steel production has remained dormant. He said that another critical facility that should be completed for the production of steel was the handling facility.

“The handling facility that is an internal infrastructure very critical to the production of steel is yet to be completed.

“Even the raw materials that can be used for steel production, if eventually Ajaokuta steel is completed are also yet to be developed.

“So, why rehabilitating or completing the steel company when the primary needs which are to make the Ajaokuta steel company functional are not being considered,” he said.

Adewuyi said that the ministry had in recent times called for invitation for tender to rehabilitate the company without first considering the development of raw materials.

“I sense foul play, the ministry wants to rehabilitate Ajaokuta steel and privatise it, that is why it did not consider reviving NIOMCO, which will serve as primary source for raw materials for steel production.

NAN reports that the ministry had recently called for invitation to tender for rehabilitation works at Ajaokuta Steel Complex in pursuant to the present administration’s commitment toward resuscitation of the company.

The ministry called for invitation for tender from qualified and competent firms to carry out rehabilitations on the company which were classified into five slots.