Following Monday’s signing of the modified Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) concession between the Federal Government and Global Steel Holdings Limited, the GSHL is to submit its business plan for government’s  approval within the next 105 days.

The submission of business plan for approval by the Federal Government is part of the timeline agreed upon by both parties for the revitalisation of the entity.

The submission and approval of the business plan is to come after the release of claims by GSHL.

Under the new arrangement, the concessionaire is to implement the business plan as approved by the government.

The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, had, while presiding over the signing ceremony on Monday (1st August, 2016), urged both parties to keep to the various deadlines contained in the agreement  in the spirit of mediation.

According to the timeline released by the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, GSHL would within 48 hours of the signing of the agreement gain access to NIOMCO plant at Itakpe, Kogi State, for due diligence.

Also, an independent audit of the Joint Audit Report is to be carried out within the next 65 days. The terms of reference of the auditors of the audit would be to “cross check and verify the report and not to re-do the audit all over again”.

The ratification of the Joint Audit Report by the  Attorney General of the Federation and GSHL is to be carried out shortly after, specifically within 80 days of the agreement signing.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said getting NIOMCO and Ajaokuta working would move Nigeria from just being a mineral-rich country to a mining nation.

“Once the first phase of the agreement is accomplished, it is the intention of the FGN to quickly move into accomplishing the objectives of concessioning the Ajaokuta Steel Plant to the most competent operator.

“Through this, we would be able to process, beneficiate and add value to what we have.”, the Minister added.