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Stakeholders oppose concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company

Experts in the mining sector have said that concessioning Ajaokuta Steel will lead to corruption and mortgage the security of Nigeria.

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They commended the decision of the House of Representatives for unanimously opposing the concession of Ajaokuta steel.

A bill to stop the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, from initiating or concluding any concession plan on Ajaokuta steel, recently passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

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The lawmakers also seek to establish a fund to complete the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited.

A bill for an Act to establish the fund passed second reading at the House and 301 out of the 360 members of the House are in support of the two bills.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara said it was a collective shame to all leaders that the project was yet to be completed after so many years.

Prof. Benjamin Adewuyi, a former president of Nigerian Metallurgical Society, said reconcessioning the plant would result to putting the future and security of Nigeria in the hands of foreigners.

Adewuyi commended Mr Speaker and the House of Representatives for speaking the minds of Nigerians, especially stakeholders in the sector that had long been canvassing that Nigerian government should revive and complete the steel plant.

Mr Attah Achimugu, Managing Director/CEO, REPROM Company Nigeria Limited said that no investor would want to invest in the abandoned project like Ajaokuta steel with the current drop in steel market.

Mr Anthony Madagua, former, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Delta Steel Company, Aladja said that he would stand with a caveat on Dr Kayode Fayemi’s side to concession the steel plant.

The steel company was concessioned to GHIL between 2004 and 2005 during President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

However, the Indian firm did not live up to expectations as it could not manage the company.

Following the failure of GHIL to manage the company, the Federal Government under late President Umaru Yar’Adua was compelled to revoke the contract.

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