The leadership of the Ajaokuta Steel Company has said that it will provide 500,000 upstream and downstream employments as soon as its first phase becomes operational.
The Sole Administrator of the company, Mr Isah Onobere, who made this known while speaking to newsmen on Friday, added that the first phase of the plant would also provide direct employment for 10,000 technical staff when inaugurated.
Onobere further said the first phase had been completed, adding that it was envisaged to produce 1.3 million tonnes of liquid steel per annum.
He said that it would cost 400 million dollars to complete Ajaokuta steel, which had reached 98 per cent completion.
According to him, two billion dollars is needed for infrastructure rehabilitation and operational cost.
He said that government had begun to commit resources for the maintenance and preservation of the equipment and facilities of the plant recently and called for improved efforts.
Onobere further disclosed that the federal government is considering the report on various options on the way forward for the completion of the project.
These options he said include outright sales, concessioning and joint venture of Ajaokuta steel.
He, however, denied rumour about the company equipment being obsolete, adding that the company, would stand test of time, adding that all its equipment were functioning appropriately.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that former President Alhaji Shehu Shagari laid the foundation of Ajaokuta in 1980 and within four years, it attained was 84 per cent completion.