Reps call for approval of $2bn to complete Ajaokuta Steel company

Nigeria’s House of Representatives has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate required political will with the approval of $2 billion for the completion of two percent of the external rail system, access road and mining sites within the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.

The House also urged President Buhari to use the multi-million dollars recovered from the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha for the completion of the company.

Worried by the level of impunity perpetuated by the manager of Ajaokuta Steel complex, rated as the second largest in Africa and 12th largest iron ore in the world, the House called prosecution of Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (GINL) and other companies indicted in the mismanagement of Ajaokuta Steel Company, over alleged economic sabotage, in line with the directive of late President Musa Yar’Adua in 2008.

Over $8 billion has so far been injected into the moribund steel plant since its inception by successive administration.

The resolution was passed during the consideration of the recommendations of the Ad-hoc Committee that investigated the failure of Ajaokuta Steel Company to commence operations since its inception, which was adopted at the Committee of the Whole.

The lawmakers also urged government to terminate the recent re-concession agreement signed with GINL on the 1st August, 2016 as there is still an extant Federal Government indictment against the company.

The House alleged that “GINL and all indicted local collaborators should be made to pay damages to the host communities that suffered loss of lives when the Company used brutal force against the workers, who tried to stop the Company from stripping and vandalising the assets of the concessioned plants.”

The House added that GINL and its associates be banned from further doing any business in the country as its track record has been marred by duplicity and fraud.”

The House also urged Federal Government to jettison the idea of concessioning or re-concessioning the steel companies in the country, as there are capable hands in the country to manage the companies under the control of the government and are properly funded.

The House also called for “accelerated legislative work must be done by both Chambers of the National Assembly to ensure that both the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the National Iron Ore Manufacturing Company, Itakpe, are removed from the Privatization List.

“Both the Company, Global Infrastructures Nigeria Ltd and all indicted local collaborators should be made to pay damages to the host communities that suffered loss of lives when the Company used brutal force against the workers (most of whom were community youths) who tried to stop the Company from stripping and vandalizing the assets of
the concessioned plants.

“The House also urged Federal Government to revive relations with the original builders of the Company (TPE of Russia) towards wooing them back to continue and complete the good work they started alongside the current Management Team of indigenous Sole Administrators who have shown expertise and practical knowledge in the integrated steel plants management and production.”

KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja

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