The stakeholders made the plea at the National Council for Mining and Mineral Resources Development held in Kaduna last week for the Federal Government to complete and make the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and the National Iron-Ore Mining Company, Itakpe.
As the Federal Government’s plan to give out the Ajaokuta Steel Complex as a concession failed with the core investor, Global Steel Holdings Limited, granting it the right to the management of NIOMCO in exchange for freeing Ajaokuta from legal encumbrances.
In a statement made available to correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, the council, which was chaired by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Bawa Bwari, urged the Federal Government to establish a single digit interest fund for lending to operators in the mining sector.
Part of the statement said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria should continue with its current efforts to ensure that Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the National Iron Ore Mining Company plants are completed and made operational.
“Investment funding should be made available at single digit interest for companies interested in developing small-scale production of minerals and metals raw materials, and for aggressive industry cluster development.”