About 1.5 million tons metal scrap recoverable from shipwreck in Onne, says Ogbeifun

           …as $652 USD estimated to reactivate Ajaokuta Steel Coy

CEO Starzs Group, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun
Nigerian Shipowner and Chief Executive of Starzs Group, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, has called attention to the fact that about 1.5 million tons of metal scrap could still be salvaged from a wreckage that had remained abandoned at a jetty in Onne, Rivers for some years now.
The erstwhile president of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) disclosed this in an interview with Onepageafrica recently.

He said: “If you come to our shipyard in Onne, next to it is a shipyard that has gone under long time ago. In front of their jetty is an abandoned marine equipment in which you can have between 1 million to 1.5 million tons of metal scrap. And this metal scrap is what the steel plant needs to produce steel products.”

He suggested that the government sets up a committee involving its agencies; the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Ministry of Mines and Steel, and that of Petroleum to closely carryout a review of the equipment and decide on what to do.

He said that the steel ministry could actually initiate the process of taking out this wreck to a ship breaking compound, cut it up and move the steel to a steel plant like Ajaokuta or Delta Steel where the steel plates can be produced to Lloyds’ standard and used for ship building.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development had earlier in April under the former minister, Mr. Bawa Bwari, announced that that an estimated $ 652 million USD would be required to reactivate equipment and machines at the Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd.

The ministry announced it shortly after it received the Report of a Technical Audit from the Sole Administration of the company, Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported at the time that the Federal Government had set up the Technical Audit to find out how much was required to complete the Steel Plant.

According to Bwari, the estimated amount was part of recommendations contained in the Technical Audit Report presented to him.

Bwari said following that completion of work by the Technical Audit, the next line of action was for the ministry to appoint transaction advisers to advise the Federal Government on the best strategy to adopt to operate the Steel Plant.

He commended the Nigerian Society of Engineers for recommending capable engineers that conducted the Technical Audit.

He said: “I am pleased to see that our local engineers conducted the technical audit successfully, some have suggested that foreigners should conduct the process but we can see the good job our own engineers have done.

“Today, we know what is remaining to be completed in the plant and what to do within a stipulated time, we need to start work on areas that are remaining.
“I want to appreciate those that preserved the steel plant thus far that made it not to become moribund.”

Earlier, Abdul-Akaba said that the engineers were able to discover that the Plant had attained 95.7 per cent completion, and not 98 per cent that had been reported.
He said the engineers had also come up with lots of recommendations that would revive the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.

Ajaokuta Steel Plant is sited on 24,000 hectares of land in Ajaokuta, Kogi, about 38 kilometres from Lokoja, the state capital.

The Plant was conceived and steadily developed with the vision of erecting a Metallurgical Process Plant/Engineering Complex with other auxiliaries and facilities.

The company is meant to generate important upstream and downstream industrial and economic activities that are critical to the diversification of Nigeria’s economy to an industrial one.

The Plant dubbed “Bedrock of Nigeria’s Industrialisation’’ is also designed to produce iron and liquid steel from Iron Ore Mines at Itakpe, also in Kogi, about 52 kilometres from Ajaokuta.