Firm’s $600m investment in iron ore will boost Nigeria’s economy – Minister

Finance minister, Zainab Ahmed. [PHOTO CREDIT: Daily Trust]
Finance minister, Zainab Ahmed. [PHOTO CREDIT: Daily Trust]

The Federal Government says African Natural Resources and Mines Ltd’s 600 million dollars (N183 billion) investment in integrated iron ore mining processing and steel production will boost the country’s economy.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said this in a statement issued by Paul Abechi, the Special Adviser on Media and Communications in Abuja on Sunday.

Mrs Ahmed, who expressed the government’s delight over the development, said this during a meeting with the representative of the firm, Raj Gupta, in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The minister said that the investment would also lead to increased revenue generation and job creation under the diversification policy of the federal government.

“In a bid to diversify away from oil and increase government revenues, I met with African Natural Resources and Mines Ltd and they are investing 600 million dollars in an integrated iron ore mining, processing and steel production project in Kagarko Local Government, Kaduna State.

“This is about the first major investment in the mining sector in more than two decades.

‘‘The project will have a capacity of 5.4 metric tonnes per annum and will create 3,500 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs,” the minister said.

According to her, the steel plant will generate 36 megawatts of electricity to the national grid that will, in turn, boost the already generated megawatts of power for other economic activities.

“About 36 megawatts of electricity is to be generated from the waste heat which will increase power supply to Kagarko Local Government to help develop other industries and urbanise the local area.

‘‘The surplus will also be added to the national grid,” she said.

Mrs Ahmed explained that the company’s steel would carry out beneficiation, pelletising and convert iron into direct steel for manufacturing.

She added that it would galvanise the industrial space into a hub of production of finished goods for local consumption and export to foreign countries.

She predicted that the project would massively impact on the local people and the nation at large, based on the potential it has to transform the socio-economic life of Nigerians.

“This project will drive industrial and community development, generate more power, create employment for locals, substitute imports, crude steel production, royalties and reposition the mining sector,” she said. (NAN)

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