The Minister of Mines and Steel, Olamilekan Adegbite, on Monday, said the Ajeokuta Steel Mill is 90 percent complete and may be functional by early 2023.
Adegbite made the remarks while making an appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.
The development of the steel mill was started in the 1970s but has evaded completion several decades after.
The Minister, on Monday, said the current revitalisation plan for the steel mill was kick-started in October 2019, when a Nigerian delegation, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, attended the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, Russia.
In Sochi, President Buhari invited the Russians to help complete the steel mill on a Build-Operate-Transfer model, Adegbite said.
The Russians agreed and were set to arrive in Nigeria in March 2020, with the project to last for about two years.
However, the coronavirus pandemic threw a spanner into the wheels as the countries closed their borders to halt the virus and the Russians were unable to fly into Nigeria for an on-site audit.
Adegbite said once international borders are open, the process will resume and Ajaokuta may become operation between late 2022 and early 2023.