Ukraine has joined a host of other potential foreign investors willing to invest towards the resuscitation of the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Valeriy Aleksandruk, has revealed his country’s readiness to invest $1 billion in the defunct company.
Aleksandruk speaking in Abuja during a courtesy call on the acting Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Akporaire, revealed that the Ukrainian company that built the plant, Tiajpromexport (TPE), had already made a proposal to the federal government on its willingness to revive the plant.
Describing the steel complex as an investment with a lot of potential which Ukraine wanted to take advantage of, the envoy said that meetings had already been held with relevant stakeholders in Nigeria for the realization of the planned takeover of the plant.
The ambassador further noted that Ukraine was ready to “open a new page in its relationship with Nigeria,” and pledged to assist the BPE in its training needs to become a foremost privatization agency in Africa.
Citing that there is a big Nigerian community in Ukraine, Aleksandruk said Ukraine has a good relationship with Nigeria, especially in economic and trade investments.
The acting BPE boss said he would review the proposal by the Ukrainian Government and that of Morgan Stanley, the multinational financial services firm that would provide the $1billion investment before taking the next steps.
Akpotaire, however, 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 sector.
Dr. Akporaire added that the federal government was desirous to get the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the Nigerian Iron Ore Mill Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe, back on their feet.