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“Ajaokutao Is 90 Percent Complete , May Be Functional Early 2023” – Minister

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images 2020 08 18T180525.105 "Ajaokutao Is 90 Percent Complete , May Be Functional Early 2023" – Minister

The Minister of Mines and Steel, Olamilekan Adegbite, on Monday, said the Ajeokuta Steel Mill is 90 percent complete and may be functional by early 2023.

Adegbite made the remarks while making an appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.
The development of the steel mill was started in the 1970s but has evaded completion several decades after.
The Minister, on Monday, said the current revitalisation plan for the steel mill was kick-started in October 2019, when a Nigerian delegation, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, attended the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, Russia.
In Sochi, President Buhari invited the Russians to help complete the steel mill on a Build-Operate-Transfer model, Adegbite said.
The Russians agreed and were set to arrive in Nigeria in March 2020, with the project to last for about two years.
However, the coronavirus pandemic threw a spanner into the wheels as the countries closed their borders to halt the virus and the Russians were unable to fly into Nigeria for an on-site audit.
Adegbite said once international borders are open, the process will resume and Ajaokuta may become operation between late 2022 and early 2023.
What the Minister Said?
“I came into office last year and the process to actually kickstart Ajaokuta this time around started in October last year. I was privileged to be with Mr. President Muhammadu Buhari at the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia. And, of course, on the sidelines of that summit, we had a bilateral (agreement) with the Russian government).
“And one of the things President Buhari presented as our requests, was for the Russians to come and help to complete Ajaokuta on a build-operate-transfer basis, so Ajaokuta will not be a burden to government again. And, of course, it was accepted.
“Don’t forget that Ajaokuta itself was built by the Russians and Ukrainians under the Soviet Union. So we’ve gone back to the original builder and said, look there’s just a little bit to complete this – some will tell you it was 95 percent completed, 90 percent, depending on what sector you are looking at. But Ajaokuta is advanced. Overall, if you look at the whole complex, it’s about 90 percent completed.
Adegbite, made an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on August 17, 2020.
“So we said let the Russians come in, complete it, operate it for a while to recoup the money that’s going to be used to complete it and, of course make their profit, and transfer ownership back to Nigeria. That is the basis, on a government-to-government basis. And that was the proposal which we gave to the Russians and they accepted. And we are in that process.
“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed things down. We would have moved further than we are now. The plan was for the Russians – after the exchange of some papers and of course a few meetings (we had a meeting in Cairo) – the Russians were supposed to come down sometime in March to do what you call evaluation; that’s the technical audit of the complex itself. They need to look at the machinery, the complex, everything and say, look for us to kickstart this thing and bring it to a working condition, it’s going to cost x amount. That’s what the technical audit is all about. After negotiation of that bill that will be submitted, then the Russians will move in.
“The audit itself was supposed to take three months. If they had come in March, perhaps we would have had the engineers working on-site by now. Unfortunately because of the pandemic, this is August, they are yet to come for the audit. The audit has to be done physically.
“So we are looking at – as soon as the international border restrictions are lifted, they will come in and do the audit.
“The whole thing was supposed to take about two years, for them to complete and start operations. This, of course, has been delayed a little. So 2020 was not in the reckoning. If they had started in 2020, we would be looking at 2022. We are hoping that we can still be on track, fast track a few things and, of course, still be able to do maybe the last quarter of 2022 or early 2023 for Ajaokuta to come onstream.”

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Aisha Buhari Sends Relief Materials To Flood Victims In Kebbi State

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images 21 3 Aisha Buhari Sends Relief Materials To Flood Victims In Kebbi State

In continuation of the distribution of palliatives to communities affected by the recent flood disaster across the country, First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari dispatched a team consisting of her Aides and officials of ‘Future Assured’ to Kebbi State to deliver the relief materials and commiserate with the victims.
Kebbi state is known to have many flood prone communities because of the presence of three major rivers; the recent flooding, however, affected communities in all the 21 Local Government Areas. Some of the communities visited by the team included Kalgo, Bagudo, Zagga, Jega, Makera (Birnin Kudu), and Argungu.
Speaking on behalf of the First Lady at Jega town in Jega local government area, Aliyu Abdullahi, Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the First lady) conveyed Mrs. Buhari’s message of sympathy over the losses they incurred during the disaster which deprived the affected communities their shelters, farmlands and properties. The First Lady prayed to God to compensate for the losses they incurred. “As a mother, I am particularly concerned with the plight of women and children during such disasters”, said Mrs. Buhari.
Mr. Abdullahi assured all the affected communities that they are on the mind of the First Lady at this trying time.
Mrs. Buhari under her Future Assured Program sent large quantities of relief materials that were distributed amongst the affected communities in order to assuage the impact of the losses the communities incurred. This includes food items such as Rice, Vegetable Oil and other edibles, clothing materials, toiletries and blankets.
Chairman of Jega Local Government, who witnessed the distribution along with traditional rulers, Alhaji Adamu Isyaku Kimba spoke at the occasion, expressing the appreciation of the people of Jega over the kind gesture of the First Lady, saying she has lived up to her title as the mother of the nation. He said the people of Jega would remain grateful for her kind gesture.
In the same vein, His Excellency, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State also extended his gratitude and appreciation to Mrs. Buhari and her Future Assured Program for always being there for the people of Kebbi State.

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78 Firms Bid To Rehabilitate Pipelines , Depots – NNPC

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images 20 3 78 Firms Bid To Rehabilitate Pipelines , Depots – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Sunday announced that 78 companies submitted virtual bids to rehabilitate its downstream pipelines, associated depots and terminal infrastructure through the finance, build, operate and transfer model.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, said the exercise was in fulfilment of the corporation’s commitment to transparency and accountability as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative partner company.
Kyari disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja by the spokesperson of the oil firm, Kennie Obateru.
He said the finance, build, operate and transfer model became imperative in the corporation’s journey to rehabilitate its downstream infrastructure which over time had become vulnerable, lost value and integrity due to age and incessant vandalism.
He said some of the assets were as old as 40 years and were due for replacement, adding that to carry out such a replacement of this magnitude, there would be need for resources.
Kyari was quoted as saying, “And we know that we require these assets so we decided that we bring in private partners who will fund these pipelines; they will construct operate them with us.
“And ultimately they will fully recover their investment from the tariff which we will pay for using these pipelines and as soon as they recover their cost and their margin, they will hand over these assets back to us.”
Kyari stated that by the end of the first quarter of 2021, the final partners of the bid opening would be selected.
He assured the bidders that the NIPEX portal which was deployed for the pre-qualification exercise was a time tested technology that would not give room for any human indiscretion.
The corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Lawrencia Ndupu, who was represented by the Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, Musa Lawan, said the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company operates 5,120 length of pipelines.
She said the pipelines traverses the entire country with two coastal depots in Lagos and Calabar, adding that the public bid opening processes was being done transparently.

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Lagos State Governor Hosts Barcelona Star , Asisat Oshoala

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IMG 20200920 051522 Lagos State Governor Hosts Barcelona Star , Asisat Oshoala

Today, @AsisatOshoala paid me a courtesy visit. She is a worthy ambassador of Lagos from Ikorodu & we are proud of her. She spoke about her plans for the Asisat Oshoala Foundation and I promised to support her.
We kicked the ball for a bit and I think I still have my skills.

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