The Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Valeriy Aleksandruk, has disclosed that his country is ready to invest $1 billion into the Ajaokuta Steel Company in order to revive the plant, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said in a statement yesterday.
The Ambassador, who made this known in Abuja on Wednesday, during a courtesy call on the acting director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr Vincent Onome Akpotaire, said that the Ukrainian company that built the plant -Tiajpromexport (TPE) – has presented a proposal to the federal government to that effect.
He said that the steel complex has a lot of potential which his country want to take advantage of; and that already, meetings have been held with relevant stakeholders in Nigeria for the realisation of the planned takeover of the plant.
Aleksandruk said that Ukraine has a very good relationship with Nigeria, especially with economic and trade investments, while noting that there is a big Nigerian community in Ukraine. The Ambassador further noted that Ukraine is ready to “open a new page in its relationship with Nigeria” and pledged to assist the bureau in its training needs to become a foremost privatisation agency in Africa.
In his response, Akpotaire said that the bureau would review the proposals from the Ukrainian Government and the multinational financial services firm that would provide the $1 billion investment, Morgan Stanley, before taking the next steps. He added that the federal government is desirous to get the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the Nigerian Iron Ore Mill Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe running.
Akpotaire urged the Ukrainian Government to invest in other sectors of the Nigerian economy, especially in developing the downstream of the steel sector that would service several sectors, including the automobile