The world's largest steel company, ArcelorMittal Steel, may have indicated interest in acquiring Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and National Iron Ore and Mining Company Limited.
Concessions for both companies formerly held Global Infrastructures Holdings Limited were revoked in March 2008 by President Umaru Yar'Adua for breach of contract terms.
ArcelorMittal is controlled by Indian billionaire, Mr. Lakshmi Mittal, who is also the elder brother of GIHL Chairman, Mr. Primod Mittal.
The Mittal Group is currently in Nigeria, and has a working relationship with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. It has expressed interest in line pipe manufacturing and is already on site doing surveys, preparatory to the start of construction.
GIHL was accused of stripping the assets of Ajaokuta Steel Company and failing to implement the terms of the concession agreement which it entered with the Federal Government with regard to the steel companies.
The report of the Presidential panel that probed the two companies indicted the company of gross mismanagement of the steel companies and fleecing the country.
Yar'Adua, who based the revocation of the concessions on the report, also ordered that the managers of the company and their collaborators should be arrested and tried in court.
The company reportedly borrowed N23bn from local banks pledging Ajaokuta Steel's assets instead of injecting funds from abroad.
The company had while lobbying for the concession of the steel plants under former President Olusegun Obasanjo claimed that it had a relationship with ArcelorMittal, a world leader in steel industry.
But following the revocation and other scandals that came out of GIHL's four- year management of the AJSCL and NIOMCO, ArcelorMittal wrote the Federal Government to disassociate itself from GIHL.
Findings by our correspondent in Abuja indicated that between 1999 and 2005, GIHL acquired 71 per cent in Bulgaria s biggest steel mill Kremikovtzi along with its outstanding debts under similar circumstances like in Nigeria.
But after failing to meet the investment pledges for the plant, and suffering labour unrest, the Bulgarian government considered the possibility re-nationalising the company, before Mr. Pramod Mittal, the Chairman of Global Steel suggested inviting his brother Lakshmi Mittal to buy up his interest.
Representatives of ArcelorMittal had last month held talks with Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Minister regarding its interest in acquiring Kremikovtzi.
A steel analyst who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity noted that Pramod and Lakshmi may actually be working together whereby Pramod runs down a country?s steel resources down and Lakshmi buys them up quite cheaply.
According to the expert, although ArcelorMittal is running his steel companies profitably, he has lately been getting criticism the environmental and human rights lobby in Europe for poor conditions, pay and even corruption.
He is also reported to have received significant criticism over his company's conduct in Liberia.