Everest Amaefule, Abuja
The Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line currently under construction will be ready by December, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said.
Fayemi said this at the inauguration of the Development Partners and Donor Agencies’ Coordination Group on Mining in Abuja on Friday.
The minister said the rail line was critical to the mining sector, because it links the National Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe and the Ajaokuta Steel Complex with the Warri Port.
Fayemi added that the project, being handled by the Ministry of Transport, was critical to the current effort by the Federal Government to revive the Ajaokuta Steel plant and its iron feeder plant, NIOMCO.
Presenting the country’s road map for the development of the solid minerals sector, the minister said the appropriate path to rebuilding the mining industry was to develop a road map for the growth and development of the minerals industry.
He said the road map provided the framework for the recent decision of the World Bank to grant Nigeria $150m for the development of the solid minerals sector in the country.
Fayemi stated, “Our process of developing the road map was both consultative and inclusive to enable us to meet our mandate and secure the greatest benefit for our country and for the citizens. We engaged a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the country, widely acclaimed and respected veterans of the industry, to be members of the committee to develop the road map.”
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