The Head of Mining, African Natural Resources and Mines, Partha Ghosh, has disclosed that the firm is battling insecurity in the construction of its $600m steel plant in Gujeni village, Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
He made this disclosure while addressing the press during a three-day Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit in Abuja.
According to him, the firm had been doing business in Nigeria since 1971, and was the largest producer of steel in this country.
Ghosh further said that the fully-integrated mining and steel processing plant had a mining capacity of over 5m tonnes per annum.
He added that this plant, which would, directly and indirectly, employ up to 4000 Nigerians, was more than 95 per cent ready and would be commissioned by the president later this year.
On the project, he said, “We are going to produce steel, and we are investing over $600m on the project. The project is going to commission soon this year, and it has been visited by the ministry, and the president is coming to commission it later this year.”
He added, “Since we are operating in Kaduna, there are a lot of security challenges. There are issues with bandits, kidnapping and all that.”
Ghosh, however, said that certain security measures were in place to withstand the security challenges facing the firm.
“We have our robust security system at the site. We have a three-layered security system – security guards, mobile police and soldiers -who are protecting lives and properties. We are also in touch with the governor of Kaduna State, who is wholeheartedly supporting our project and providing other support in terms of security and all other assistance required from him,” he said.
At the event, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), who was represented by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said that Africa required a huge amount of energy generation to drive development.
According to the president, the world was shifting from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy sources to drive its development. He, therefore, stressed the need for technologies and products that would drive the growth and industrialisation of Africa in a more eco-friendly way.
He said, “We should come up with technologies and products that will lead to the growth and industrialisation of Africa in a more environment-friendly manner while encouraging the development
and financing of green energy projects.”
Earlier, the minister had said the summit would convene the African mining, finance, power, and energy, oil, and gas sectors to chart a way forward for the development of natural resources and energy projects in a sustainable and climate-friendly manner.