The sole administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) Engr. Joseph Isah Onobere has urged the Federal Government to muster the political will to put the company to use as it has the potential to generate 15,000 direct employment even as 500,000 Nigerians could also be indirectly engaged.
He added that in this era of insecurity and other social vices confronting the nation, making Ajaokuta steel company functional will be a way of solving the problems.
The sole administrator who gave the indication over the weekend while addressing journalists at the Ajaokuta Steel complex, said that over 74 per cent of global steel companies adopted the blast furnace mode of steel production.
He added that the insinuation that the blast furnace technology has become obsolete was a tissue of lies and stressed that the technology remained the best source of steel making all over the world till date.
According to him, with the volume and quality of steel to be produced in the plant, the best method is the blast furnace, thus asking Nigerians to disregard the insinuation in some quarters that the plant can not function again.
While speaking on the present status of the plant, he said it was largely intact and dispelled the rumour that the plant had been vandalised.
He said the recent technical audit of the plant by the Ukrainians had shown that the steel plant was in good shape and ready for operation, if the necessary funds are made available.
While quoting from the Ukrainian report, Onobere affirmed that “the situation of the steel plant’s equipment and facilities are satisfactory. Mechanically, the steel plant equipment and facilities are generally in good condition.
“I made reference to the above, because we need to educate the good people of Nigeria that the Blast Furnace Technology of steel making adopted in Ajaokuta is still the best method through which large volumes of steel are produced in the world today,” he emphasised.
The steel boss hinted that President Goodluck Jonathan was committed to the resuscitation of the plant and stressed that he has set in motion machineries for the resolution of the arbitration between the company and Global Infrastructural Holdings Limited, (GIHL) an Indian firm.
He said Ajaokuta steel company when fully operational, would generate over 15,000 direct employment, in addition to several thousands that would be employed informally.
He listed other benefits of the steel plant to the nation to include; enhancing technological growth, acquisition of technical expertise, provision of input for infrastructural development and adding value to our natural resources.